According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 45 millions American are infected with herpes 1. In up to 80 percent of people, an outbreak is preceded by flu-like symptoms. Flu-like symptoms that herald the onset of a herpes outbreak include fever, headache, muscle pain and malaise.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Fever is often a presenting symptoms of herpes and may last for two to seven days, according to Dr. Lawrence Corey in "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine." This fever is characteristically mild and may not be a “fever” at all–just an elevation over a person’s baseline temperature or a subjective feeling of feverishness. Fever is usually most severe during the initial episode and becomes milder with each recurrence. Fever over 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit during a recurrent episode may signal infection with something other than herpes.
- Fever is often a presenting symptoms of herpes and may last for two to seven days, according to Dr. Lawrence Corey in "Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine."
Headache and Muscle Pain
Fever Blister With Flu-Like Symptoms
Headache and muscle pain during outbreaks are reported by 80 percent of people, according to a 2005 article in the medical journal American Family Physician 3. These symptoms are more persistent than fever, usually lasting from three to 14 days. Like fever, they become less severe with each recurrence, although they ultimately plateau. In some patients, headache and muscle pain are accompanied by swollen lymph nodes in the groin and the neck.
- Headache and muscle pain during outbreaks are reported by 80 percent of people, according to a 2005 article in the medical journal American Family Physician 3.
Malaise is single word summary for what people commonly refer to as "feeling sick." Symptoms of malaise may include feelings of lethargy, fatigue, irritability, lack of appetite and non-specific pain. Malaise, according to the CDC, usually precedes the appearance of skin lesions and may persist for the duration of the outbreak.
- Malaise is single word summary for what people commonly refer to as "feeling sick."
- Malaise, according to the CDC, usually precedes the appearance of skin lesions and may persist for the duration of the outbreak.
Fever Blister With Flu-Like Symptoms
Flu-Like Symptoms After a Tick Bite
The Calories Burned During Firm Workouts
Joint Pain from Herpes
Can Muscle Strain Cause Fever?
What Causes Herpes to Flare Up?
Early Signs of the Flu
About Prolonged Flu Symptoms
What Happens If the Shingles Don't Erupt?
Influenza Virus Characteristics
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Genital Herpes
- Herpes Simplex Viruses (Chapter); L. Corey; "Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine," 17th edition; A.S. Fauci, E. Braunwald, D.L. Kasper, S.L. Hauser, D.L. Longer, J.L. Jameson and J. Loscalzo, Eds.; 2008
- American Family Physician; Genital Herpes: A Review; J.G. Beauman; Oct .15, 2005
- McQuillan G, Kruszon-Moran D, Flagg EW, Paulose-Ram R. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in persons aged 14–49: United States, 2015–2016. NCHS Data Brief. 2018;304.
- Tronstein E. Genital Shedding of Herpes Simplex Virus Among Symptomatic and Asymptomatic Persons With HSV-2 Infection. JAMA. 2011;305(14):1441. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.420
- World Health Organization (WHO). Herpes simplex virus. Updated January 31, 2017.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet (Detailed). Updated January 31, 2017
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Genital Herpes - CDC Fact Sheet. Updated August 28, 2017.
- Chun H, Carpenter R, Macalino G, Crum-Cianflone NF. The role of sexually transmitted infections in HIV-1 progression: A comprehensive review of the literature. Journal of Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 2012;2013(176459):1-15. doi:10.1155/2013/176459
- Heslop R, Roberts H, Flower D, Jordan V. Interventions for men and women with their first episode of genital herpes. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Aug 30;(8):CD010684. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010684.pub2
- Jin F, Prestage GP, Mao L, Kippax SC, Pell CM, et al. Transmission of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 in a prospective cohort of HIV-negative gay men: the health in men study. J Infect Dis. 2006 Sep 1;194(5):561-70.
- Schulte JM, Bellamy AR, Hook EW 3rd, Bernstein DI, Levin MJ, et al. HSV-1 and HSV-2 seroprevalence in the united states among asymptomatic women unaware of any herpes simplex virus infection (Herpevac Trial for Women). South Med J. 2014 Feb;107(2):79-84. doi:10.1097/SMJ.0000000000000062
Heather Gloria began writing professionally in 1990. Her work has appeared in several professional and peer-reviewed publications including "Nutrition in Clinical Practice." Gloria earned both a Bachelor of Science in food science and human nutrition from the University of Illinois. She also maintains the "registered dietitian" credential and her professional interests include therapeutic nutrition, preventive medicine and women's health.