ADAA View Course

An Introduction to the Herpes Viruses (AGD 148)

Presenter: Joe Knight, PA and Wilhemina Leeuw, MS, CDA


The word herpes evokes an emotional response from almost everyone. Eighty to ninety-five percent of the world’s population has serological evidence of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1, generally orolabial herpes), which often presents itself as a “cold sore” on the lip(s.) Only twenty-to-thirty percent of the U.S. population is seropositive for the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2, generally genital herpes) which is considered a sexually transmitted disease.1 

Add childhood chickenpox, adult shingles, infectious mononucleosis, the immunosuppressant drugs used by cancer and organ-transplant patients, along with the increasing number of immunosuppressed patients who have HIV and AIDS, and it’s not hard to understand why we are now seeing a greater incidence of herpes infections. 


Joe Knight, PA

Joe Knight is a family practice Physician Assistant and a medical and science writer in Fresno, California.  His medical interests include academic dentistry and sport medicine.

Wilhemina Leeuw, MS, CDA

Wilhemina Leeuw, MS, CDA is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Dental Education at Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne. A DANB Certified Dental Assistant since 1985, she worked in private practice over twelve years before beginning her teaching career in the Dental Assisting Program at IPFW. She is very active in her local and Indiana state dental assisting organizations. Prof. Leeuw’s educational background includes dental assisting - both clinical and office management, and she received her M.S. degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision.


Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:
• Describe the symptoms of an active herpes infection.
• Identify the signs of an active herpes infection.
• Differentiate between herpes type 1, herpes type 2, varicella, and Epstein-Barr infections.
• Discuss how the different herpes viruses are transmitted.
• Identify which forms of herpes have available vaccines.
• Summarize the principal complication of a “shingles” outbreak.


The ADAA has an obligation to disseminate knowledge in the field of dentistry.  Sponsorship of a continuing education program by the ADAA does not necessarily imply endorsement of a particular philosophy, product or technique.

The ADAA cautions participants taking this course on the hazards of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into their practices.

Credits earned upon completion of the course may be used to meet DANB’s Recertification Requirements.


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