Herpes Home > Incubation Period for Genital Herpes

When a person becomes infected with one of the herpes simplex viruses (either HSV-1 or HSV-2) that cause herpes, the virus begins to multiply within the skin and nerves. Yet, symptoms do not immediately occur.
 
After six to eight days, on average, signs and symptoms of genital herpes can appear. This period between herpes transmission and the start of genital herpes symptoms is called the "incubation period for genital herpes." In some cases, the incubation period can be as short as one day or as long as 26 days.
 
 
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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