herpes (n.) Look up herpes at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "inflammatory, spreading skin condition" (used of shingles, gangrene, etc.), from Latin herpes "a spreading skin eruption," from Greek herpes, the name for the disease shingles, literally "creeping," from herpein "to creep" (cognate with Latin serpere "to creep;" see serpent). The condition was not distinguished into specific diseases until early 19c.