Medical Specialty >> Infections

Doctors Lounge - Infections Answers

Back to Infections Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Question: Herpes Zoster diagnosed as Herpes 2?

 222 - Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:10 pm

Hi, I recently went through a month-long illness. Symptoms included persistent fever, head ache, achy-ness (as if I had the flu), lack of energy and a cough that was unbearable. These symptoms lasted about 3 weeks and as they relented, new symptoms emerged.

They included, tingling from the waist down. Hot spots or burning spots on my skin from the waist down. Cramps in my calves and feet. A severe urinary tract infection and finally a bump at the base of my penis.

The bump eventually burst and stayed open and wet for about a week, eventually it spread to two more bumps appearing right beside it, at the base of my penis.

At this point I went to the clinic. They took a sample of the pus in the open bump and a week later they called to let me know that I have Herpes 2.

My wife assures me that she has been faithful and I haven't been with anyone in any type of sexual manner since before her and I were married.

My question is, is it POSSIBLE this is really Herpes Zoster, since my immune system was under a serious strain? I did have chicken pox when I was a child.

If not, can the Herpes 2 strain be carried, without a flare-up for 8+ years?

Thank you for any and all answers. I'm sorry for being long-winded but it's been my experience that Doctors appreciate details.

 Dr. Chan Lowe - Mon Mar 24, 2008 11:04 pm

User avatar Hello 222,

Herpes Zoster (Shingles) is more properly known as Varicella Zoster because it is actually caused by the varicella virus, as opposed to the herpes simplex virus. They are in the same family (the herpes virus family) but are distinct viruses. So, if the culture grew the Herpes simplex 2 virus this would not be consistent with shingles.

HSV2 can stay dormant for vary long periods of time, particularly if the immune system is healthy. When the immune system is suppressed (such as during illnesses, stress, etc.) it can allow the virus to reactivate causing an outbreak. I cannot comment specifically on the possibility of dormancy for eight years in your case since there really is not a specific way to identify when infection occurred.

Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us