Disease/Syndrome

Herpetic whitlow

Category

Infection, Occupational

Acute/Chronic

Acute-Moderate

Synonyms

Herpes simplex infection; HSV infection

Biomedical References

Search PubMed

Comments

INITIAL SYMPTOMS: Usually confined to a small area of a fingertip; Abrupt onset of redness and swelling followed by skin vesicles; [PPID, p. 1722] COMMENTS: Dental and medical workers are at risk for herpes (usually HSV-1) hand infection after exposure to the infected saliva of patients. [CCDM, p. 278] Healthcare workers should be restricted from patient contact and contact with the patient's environment until the lesions heal. [CDC Personnel Health Guidelines] The lesion is difficult to distinguish from a bacterial pustule. Patients may have fever and regional adenopathy. Infections may recur. A similar infection occurs in wrestlers on any part of the body--herpes gladiatorum. [PPID, p. 1722] Lymphangitis and lymphadenitis are rare, but may occur with the primary infection. [5MCC-2015]

Latency/Incubation

2-12 days; [CCDM]

Diagnostic

Culture; PCR to detect DNA; Antigen detection by EIA or IFA; Antibodies take several weeks to develop; [CCDM] The Tzanck smear can be done immediately and will show multinucleated giant cells. [5MCC-2015]

ICD-9 Code

054.6

Effective Antimicrobics

Yes

Image

NIOSH - Photo of Herpetic Whitlow

Related Information in Haz-Map
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Job Tasks

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Agents

Hazardous agents that cause the occupational disease: