After exposure, the virus replicates locally in the epithelial cells, causing lysis of the infected cells and producing an inflammatory response. This response results in the characteristic rash of HSV, which is indistinguishable from the rash of VZV. The rash consists of small thin-walled vesicles on an erythematous base. Continued replication may result in viremia in immunocompromised hosts and rarely in normal hosts. Following primary infection, the virus becomes latent in a sensory nerve ganglion.

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