Wednesday, February 21, 2024

How Can The Herpes Virus Be Spread

How Herpes Is Transmitted

How Contagious is Herpes?

Active sores leaking fluid that contains the virus are more likely to spread the infection. But the virus can be transmitted even outside of an active outbreak.

Some show symptoms when they contract the virus or a few months or years down the line. But not everyone shows symptoms: The virus can lie dormant in the body for years without causing an outbreak.

There are periods during the herpes virus outbreak cycle when the virus is more likely to spread. This includes when:

  • the area of infection begins to feel itchy and uncomfortable
  • sores are leaking fluid or otherwise open or moist

Other myths exist about how herpes spreads. Here are some of the facts:

  • Herpes can spread even without the presence of active sores.
  • The herpes virus can be present even without symptoms once you contract herpes, the virus is in your body for life.
  • Herpes can be transmitted through kissing, even if the kiss doesnt involve any tongue.

Herpes And Newborn Infants

Herpes infection in a newborn can cause a range of symptoms, including skin rash, fevers, mouth sores, and eye infections. If left untreated, neonatal herpes is a very serious and even life-threatening condition. Neonatal herpes can spread to the brain and central nervous system, causing encephalitis and meningitis. It also can lead to intellectual disability, cerebral palsy, and death. Herpes can also spread to internal organs, such as the liver and lungs.

Infants infected with herpes are treated with acyclovir, an antiviral drug. They usually receive several weeks of intravenous acyclovir treatment, often followed by several months of oral acyclovir. It is important to treat babies quickly, before the infection spreads to the brain and other organs.

What Are The Symptoms Of Herpes Gladiatorum

  • Symptoms usually begin about 8 days after exposure to HSV-1.
  • Swollen glands .
  • A tingling feeling at the affected area.
  • A cluster of clear, fluid-filled blisters that may be surrounded by redness these blisters may or may not be painful.
  • Blisters and lesions usually heal within 7 to 10 days.
  • People with HSV-1 infection are infected for life, may have periodic outbreaks, and can transmit the virus to others.
Herpes outbreak on arm

Don’t Miss: Does Washing Hands Kill Herpes Virus

If Someone With Herpes Has No Sores Can It Still Be Passed On

If someone has herpes but no sores, can it still be passed on to another person? Spence*

Yes. Even when no sores are present, the herpes is still active in the body and can spread to others.

If you or your partner has herpes, reduce the risk of spread by:

  • using a condom every time you have sex . The herpes virus can live outside of the area that a condom covers, though, so a condom may not always prevent the spread.
  • avoiding sex during outbreaks
  • making sure the infected person takes antiviral medicine every day as prescribed by the health care provider

The only way to completely prevent herpes and other STDs is to not have sex .

  • *Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

What Causes Cold Sores In A Child

What Is Herpes?

The most common strain of the virus that causes cold sores is herpes simplex virus 1. The herpes simplex virus in a cold sore is contagious. It can be spread to others by kissing, sharing cups or utensils, sharing washcloths or towels, or by touching the cold sore before it is healed. The virus can also be spread to others 24 to 48 hours before the cold sore appears.

Once a child is infected with the herpes simplex virus, the virus becomes inactive for long periods of time. It can then become active at any time and cause cold sores. The cold sores usually don’t last longer than 2 weeks. Hot sun, cold wind, illness, or a weak immune system can cause cold sores to occur.

Read Also: How To Treat Herpes Outbreak Over The Counter

How Can You Contract Cold Sores

Cold sores are generally contracted from skin to skin contact with an infected area. For example, if someone has a cold sore on their lip they can pass on the virus to another persons mouth through kissing. HSV-1 is often the most easily acquired herpes infection. Usually the first herpes simplex virus that people encounter, oral HSV-1, is typically spread simply by the kind of social kiss that a relative gives a child. Because children have no prior infection with any HSV type, they have no immune defense against the virus.

What Is The Treatment

Antiviral medication can be prescribed when herpes first develops, or if the blisters are painful or happen often. The antiviral treatments will not cure herpes, but can help to reduce discomfort and how long it takes for a sore to heal.The medication works best if it is started as soon as possible. It can also decrease the chance of spreading it to others by preventing the virus from multiplying.

To ease discomfort when you have symptoms, try the following:

  • Take acetaminophen or Ibuprofen to help with the pain
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing and cotton underwear
  • Soak in warm water baths
  • Keep the infected area dry, e.g., use a blow dryer on a cool setting after bathing instead of rubbing the area with a towel
  • Apply an ice-pack, wrapped in a clean cloth, to sores
  • Drink plenty of fluids to keep urine diluted . If urinating hurts, pour warm water over your genitals while urinating or pee when you are in a warm shower or bath
  • Do not use medicated or non-medicated ointments or creams, unless they are prescribed by your health care provider
  • Avoid breaking blisters and any sexual contact until symptoms have resolved

Recommended Reading: Do Mouth Herpes Go Away

Questions To Ask Your Doctor

  • What is the best treatment for me?
  • Are there any side effects to my treatment?
  • Is it safe to have unprotected sex if I dont have any sores?
  • Can I give myself genital herpes if I also have oral herpes?
  • Can I give someone else herpes even if Im not having an outbreak?
  • What is the best way to prevent herpes outbreaks?
  • Can I live a normal life with herpes?
  • Am I at risk of developing any other diseases?
  • Are there any support groups in my area?
  • If I give my baby herpes, what is the treatment?

When To Call The Doctor

Herpes (oral & genital) – causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology

Even though HSV sores can hurt and be unsightly, most cases of herpes do not cause serious illness. The sores go away in a few days. Contact the health provider if:

  • Sores are present and you think it might be a first herpes infection. The diagnosis is usually made by examining the sores. If the sores have not healed, sometimes a laboratory test is done.
  • Sores do not heal by themselves or show signs of infection such as pus, spreading redness or fever.
  • Sores are near the eyes.
  • You have another health condition with a weakened immune system.

Also Check: Which Medicine Is Best For Herpes

How To Reduce Your Risk Of Contracting Herpes

Because herpes is so common, millions of new people are infected with the virus every year. Often, new infections are asymptomatic, meaning you might not know that you have been infected for months or years after contact with the person responsible.

If you do contract herpes, particularly HSV-1, its important to remember that its a very common virus. Its also easily treatable, with a wide range of highly effective medications available in the event you have an outbreak.

With this said, there are several ways to lower your risk of contracting herpes, particularly HSV-2 :

  • Avoid risky sexual behavior, such as having sex with multiple partners without the use of protection.

  • If you want to have unprotected sex with your partner, ask them about their HSV-2 status and, if required, consider asking them to see a physician about getting a herpes test.

  • If youre not sure about your sexual partners HSV-2 status, use a condom to cover up the potentially infected area and reduce the risk of HSV-2 transmission.

  • Avoid sexual activity with people that have visible sores on their mouth or genitals, such as lesions that resemble small bumps or pimples.

What Are Cold Sores Chickenpox Shingles And Genital Herpes

Cold sores are caused by a herpes virus that may be spread by kissing or other physical contact with the infected area of the skin. They are small, painful ulcers that you get in or around your mouth. It is not known if valacyclovir tablets can stop the spread of cold sores to others.

Chickenpox is caused by a herpes virus called Varicella Zoster Virus . It causes an itchy rash of multiple small, red bumps that look like pimples or insect bites usually appearing first on the abdomen or back and face. It can spread to almost everywhere else on the body and may be accompanied by flu-like symptoms.

Shingles is caused by the same herpes virus that causes chickenpox. It causes small, painful blisters to appear on your skin. Shingles occurs in people who have already had chickenpox. Shingles can be spread to people who have not had chickenpox or the chickenpox vaccine by contact with the infected areas of the skin. It is not known if valacyclovir tablets can stop the spread of shingles to others.

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. It causes small, painful blisters on your genital area. You can spread genital herpes to others, even when you have no symptoms. If you are sexually active, you can still pass herpes to your partner, even if you are taking valacyclovir tablets. Valacyclovir tablets, taken every day as prescribed and used with the following safer sex practices, can lower the chances of passing genital herpes to your partner.

You May Like: How Do You Test For Herpes 1

Can I Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes

Yes, you can breastfeed if you have genital herpes, but not if you have a herpes sore on one of your breasts. If you have genital herpes, it is possible to spread the infection to any part of your breast, including your nipple and areola.

If you have any genital herpes sores on one or both of your breasts:

  • You can keep breastfeeding as long as your baby or pumping equipment does not touch a herpes sore.
  • Do not breastfeed from the breast with sores. Herpes is spread through contact with sores and can be dangerous to a newborn baby.
  • Pump or hand-express your milk from the breast with sores until the sores heal. Pumping will help keep up your milk supply and prevent your breast from getting overly full and painful. You can store your milk to give to your baby in a bottle for another feeding. But if parts of your pump also touch the sore while pumping, throw the milk away.

How Are Cold Sores Treated In A Child

People Can Spread Herpes Easily, Even When Free Of Symptoms : Shots ...

Treatment will depend on your childs symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

The herpes simplex virus infection that causes cold sores cant be cured, but treatment may help ease some cold sore symptoms. Treatment may include antiviral medicine and other types of prescription medicines. These medicines work best if started as soon as possible after the first sign of a herpes infection or recurrence. Talk with your childs healthcare providers about the risks, benefits, and possible side effects of all medicines. Cold sores usually don’t scar. They last 10 to 14 days.

You May Like: How Many People Have Herpes

What You Need To Know

  • Herpes simplex virus , also known as genital herpes, is most likely to be spread when an infected person is having an outbreak, but it can also be transmitted without any symptoms being present.
  • Medications can help reduce your symptoms, speed up the healing of an outbreak and make you less contagious.
  • If you know you have genital herpes before becoming pregnant, your physician will monitor your condition throughout your pregnancy. If you have an active outbreak at the time of delivery, cesarean section may be recommended.

Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex

There is no cure for herpes simplex. Once you have the virus, its a lifelong infection.

What is the outlook for people with herpes simplex?

For many people, the first herpes outbreak is the most severe. Many outbreaks are less frequent and milder after the first year of infection. Some people may have only one outbreak and never have another again.

Herpes infection doesnt usually pose a serious health risk. The risk of a health complication due to herpes is higher in infants and if you have HIV/AIDS, cancer or an organ transplant.

Also Check: Herpes Type 1 On Genital Area

If I Already Have Herpes How Can I Keep From Giving It To Someone Else

You can do several things to keep from spreading genital herpes:

Consider sexual abstinence .

  • Dont have any kind of sex when you have herpes sores, itching or scabs. And remember that you can spread genital herpes even when you have no sign of a sore.

  • Always use condoms when you have sex.

  • Always wash your hands right after touching your genital area, even if you have no sores.

  • Read Also: How Long Does It Take For Herpes To Heal

    Week Four: Healing Scabs

    Herpes and Pregnancy

    Most people with shingles do not develop a blister-related infection. Instead, scabs appear once the blisters dry up and crust over. That typically occurs seven to 10 days post-blistery outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its important to remember that until scabs appear, your blisters contain the virus, which can cause others to catch the chickenpox. Its also important to continue to wash the area with a fragrance-free cleanser daily until the rash, blisters and scabs are completely clear. Within a month, your skins appearance will most likely return to normal, though some people are left with darker or lighter spots where the shingles rash occurred.

    Also Check: What Is Herpes Zoster Infection

    You May Like: What To Put On Herpes Blisters

    Can You Get Herpes From Drinking After Someone

    The chances of getting herpes from sharing a drink with someone who has herpes even an active outbreak of herpes is next to zero.

    While its unlikely youll contract herpes by sharing drinks, its always a good rule of thumb to avoid sharing glasses, dishware, or other objects, like towels or silverware, with someone you dont know or with someone you know has herpes.

    What Causes Herpes

    Herpes is most easily spread when blisters or sores can be seen on the infected person. But it can be spread at any time, even when the person who has herpes isnt experiencing any symptoms. Herpes can also be spread from one place on your body to another. If you touch sores on your genitals, you can carry the virus on your fingers. Then you can pass it onto other parts of your body, including your mouth or eyes.

    Recommended Reading: How Long Does It Take For Herpes To Show

    How Is It Treated

    Genital herpes can be treated, but it cannot be cured.Anti-viral medicines can make outbreaks:

    Living with genital herpes causes some people to:

    • Feel embarrassed or ashamed
    • Worry about infecting a sexual partner
    • Worry that having herpes will affect relationships with sexual partners
    • Avoid dating or sexual relationships

    Most people with herpes are able to live with the virusand manage their outbreaks. Talking to trusted healthcare providers and friends can help. Your health careprovider can talk to you about medicines that treatoutbreaks and about ways to reduce the chance ofpassing the virus on to a sexual partner.

    Medicines can help lower the chance that you will pass the virus to others.

    Also Check: How Do I Know If I Have Herpes Type 2

    Key Points About Cold Sores In Children

    SpeeDx
    • Cold sores are small blisters around the mouth caused by the herpes simplex virus.

    • The herpes simplex virus in a cold sore is contagious. It can be spread to others by kissing, sharing cups or utensils, sharing washcloths or towels, or by touching the cold sore before it is healed. The virus can also be spread to others 24 to 48 hours before the cold sore appears.

    • Symptoms include a small blister or group of blisters on the lips and mouth that enlarge, leak fluid, then crust over.

    • In most children, cold sores do not cause serious illness. In some cases, the herpes simplex virus can cause inflammation of the brain . This is a serious illness and needs to be treated right away.

    • If your child has a cold sore, make sure he or she does not kiss, share cups or utensils, share washcloths or towels, or touch the cold sore.

    Don’t Miss: Can Herpes Turn To Hiv

    Infectious Diseases That Spread Through Saliva

    If youve ever heard of mono, then you know of at least one kissing disease.Mononucleosis is probably one of the most well-known infectious diseases among adolescents. While many people know that they can acquire a sexually transmitted disease from intercourse, there are also many infections that can be spread through mere kissing alone.

    Also Check: Has Anyone Gotten Rid Of Herpes

    Is Genital Herpes Related To Shingles

    Shingles, also called herpes zoster, is caused by the varicella zoster virus , which causes chickenpox earlier in life. The natural history of varicella zoster infection is similar to genital herpes infection in that VZV also becomes latent in the sensory nerve roots. Later in life the virus may exit, causing shingles.

    Recurrences in shingles cause blister lesions in a single area of skin called a dermatome. Shingles is not a sexually transmitted infection and is independent from genital herpes.

    Also Check: Can You Treat Herpes With Antibiotics

    Popular Articles
    Related news