Wednesday, September 28, 2022

How Does Someone Get Herpes Simplex Virus

How Are Cold Sores Treated

Herpes Simplex Virus

Cold sores usually go away in about 1 to 2 weeks. No medicines can make the virus go away. But some treatments can help make cold sores less painful and not last as long:

  • Cold compresses can help with discomfort.
  • Prescription or over-the-counter treatments are sometimes recommended by the doctor.
  • Cool foods and drinks can help make eating more comfortable.
  • Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen may ease pain. Don’t take aspirin, as it’s linked to a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.

Suppressive Therapy For Recurrences

To suppress outbreaks, treatment requires taking pills daily on a long-term basis. Acyclovir and famciclovir are taken twice a day for suppression. Valacyclovir is taken once a day. The doses for these antiviral drugs are reduced in people with impaired renal function.

Suppressive treatment can reduce the frequency of outbreak recurrences by 70% to 80%. It is generally recommended for people who have frequent recurrences . Because herpes recurrences often diminish over time, you should discuss annually with your provider whether you should stay with drug therapy or discontinue it.

There is some evidence that valacyclovir may help prevent herpes transmission, particularly in situations where one heterosexual partner has HSV-2 and the other partner does not. However, this drug does not completely prevent transmission. While taking any suppressive therapy for genital herpes, it is still important to regularly use latex condoms and to avoid any sexual activity during recurrences.

How Herpes Outbreaks Occur

Once it enters a human cell, the HSV virus penetrates the cell’s nucleus and begins the process of replication. Even though cells may be infected, you probably will not experience any symptoms at this stage.

During the initial infection, the virus is transported through nerve cells to nerve-branching points, known as ganglia. There, the virus will stay in an inactive, dormant state, neither replicating nor presenting any signs that it’s even there.

On occasion, the dormant virus may suddenly reactivate, starting the replication process anew. When this happens, the virus will travel back through the nerve to the surface of the skin. With this, many of the infected skin cells are killed, causing blisters to form. The eruption of these blisters creates the characteristic ulcers that are recognized as cold sores or genital herpes.

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Can Genital Herpes Be Treated

Your physician can prescribe different medications to help reduce your symptoms and speed up the healing of an outbreak. These medicines work best when you start them soon after an outbreak occurs.

To reduce pain during an outbreak:

  • Sit in warm water in a portable bath or bathtub for about 20 minutes. Avoid bubble baths.
  • Keep your genital area clean and dry, and avoid tight clothes.
  • Take over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Avoid aspirin.

Let your physician know if you are worried about your genital herpes. He or she can recommend a support group to help you cope with the virus.

Washing The Genital Area Before And After Sex Can Help Prevent The Transmission Of Genital Herpes

Cold sores, oral herpes, causes, prevention, symptoms &  treatment

Washing the genital area doesn√Ęt help prevent any sexually transmitted disease , including genital herpes. The best way to prevent any STD is to abstain from sex or engage in sex only with someone you know is not infected. Condoms are not guaranteed to prevent infection, but research has shown that they provide some protection.

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How Can Herpes Be Prevented

Correct and consistent use of latex condoms can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of transmitting or acquiring genital herpes because herpes virus shedding can occur in areas that are not covered by a condom.25,26

The surest way to avoid transmission of STDs, including genital herpes, is to abstain from sexual contact, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested for STDs and is known to be uninfected.

Persons with herpes should abstain from sexual activity with partners when herpes lesions or other symptoms of herpes are present. It is important to know that even if a person does not have any symptoms, he or she can still infect sex partners. Sex partners of infected persons should be advised that they may become infected and they should use condoms to reduce the risk. Sex partners can seek testing to determine if they are infected with HSV.

Daily treatment with valacyclovir decreases the rate of HSV-2 transmission in discordant, heterosexual couples in which the source partner has a history of genital HSV-2 infection. 27 Such couples should be encouraged to consider suppressive antiviral therapy as part of a strategy to prevent transmission, in addition to consistent condom use and avoidance of sexual activity during recurrences.

Im Pregnant How Could Genital Herpes Affect My Baby

If you are pregnant and have genital herpes, prenatal care visits are very important. Some research suggest that a genital herpes infection may lead to miscarriage or make it more likely to deliver your baby too early. You can pass herpes to your unborn child before birth, but it more commonly passes during delivery. This can lead to a deadly infection in your baby . It is important that you avoid getting genital herpes during pregnancy. Tell your healthcare provider if you have ever had a genital herpes diagnosis or symptoms. Also tell them about any possible exposure to genital herpes.

If you have genital herpes, you may need to take anti-herpes medicine towards the end of your pregnancy. This medicine may reduce your risk of having signs or symptoms of genital herpes when you deliver. At the time of delivery, your healthcare provider should carefully examine you for herpes sores. If you have signs or symptoms of genital herpes at delivery, a C-section is likely to occur.

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What Causes Herpes Zoster

Shingles is caused by the varicella-zoster virus. After a person has had chickenpox, the varicella-zoster virus remains dormant in the body and causes no symptoms. The virus can become reactivated later in life, causing the shingles rash.

Risk factors for developing herpes zoster include:

  • Age: more common in adults 50 years of age and older
  • People who are immune compromised by:
  • Certain cancers

Transmission Of Genital Herpes

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

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease spread by skin-to-skin contact. The risk of infection is highest during outbreak periods when there are visible sores and lesions. However, genital herpes can also be transmitted when there are no visible symptoms. Most new cases of genital herpes infection do not cause symptoms, and many people infected with HSV-2 are unaware that they have genital herpes.

To help prevent genital herpes transmission:

  • Use a condom for sexual intercourse.
  • Use a dental dam for oral sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners.
  • Be aware that nonoxynol-9, the chemical spermicide used in gel and foam contraceptive products and some lubricated condoms, does not protect against STDs.

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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.

How Long Do Sores From Herpes Simplex Last

If youre infected with HSV-1, commonly known as oral herpes, you may notice tingling or burning around your mouth in the days before a cold sore appears. These blisters break open and ooze fluid before forming a crust. Usually, sores last for seven to 10 days.

If youre infected with HSV-2, commonly known as genital herpes, your first outbreak may last between two to four weeks. Recurrent outbreaks usually last between three to seven days.

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How Do You Get Rid Of A Cold Sore

Although it may take a while to get rid of a cold sore, some medicines can shorten the healing time and make the symptoms less painful. Cold sore treatments include:

  • Over-the-counter medications: You can buy without a prescription creams or ointments that you apply directly to the cold sore. If you start using these creams when you first notice tingling or itching before the cold sore forms you may be able to prevent the cold sore from appearing.
  • Oral antiviral medicine: Your doctor may prescribe an antiviral medication that you take orally .
  • Intravenous antiviral medicine: If other medications arent working, your doctor may need to prescribe an antiviral medication that will be administered through an IV. In this case, your doctor will monitor you closely throughout treatment.

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Is There A Cure For Herpes Simplex

Cold Sores Online Treatment

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.

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How Does One Get Herpes

You have likely heard of the term herpes but do you know what exactly it is or how it is spread? By educating yourself about oral herpes and genital herpes, you can take preventive measures to protect yourself and lower your risks of contracting the infection.

Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection that stems from the herpes simplex virus . You can get the infection by coming into contact with an active herpes lesion. Herpes is divided into two types, oral and genital.

Oral herpes, also commonly known as HSV-1 shows up in the form of painful cold sores around or in the mouth. The infection can be transmitted by someone who has an active outbreak, such as through oral sex via the mouth or skin to skin contact like kissing.

Genital herpes, also called HSV-2, is transmitted through sexual contact and causes painful blisters around the genital areas.

Are you worried that you may have been infected with the herpes virus? Then the only way to truly find out is to get tested.

If you think you are experiencing an outbreak, read about triggers and symptoms of an outbreak.

In the US, genital herpes is present in about 45 million people. Here are some other interesting facts about the STI:

  • Genital herpes is more common in women than men.
  • 1 in 5 Americans have HSV-2.
  • Race is a risk marker of HSV-2 in the US contracting the virus is more common in black people than white people.
  • Worldwide estimates that about 536 million people aged 15-49 years are infected with HSV-2.

Whats The Difference Between Oral And Genital Herpes

Its an oversimplification to say that HSV-1 causes oral herpes and HSV-2 causes genital herpes, though these are the easiest definitions of each.

HSV-1 is a subtype of the herpes virus that typically causes oral herpes. This is also known as cold sores.

HSV-1 can also cause genital blisters that appear very similar to the genital blisters associated with HSV-2 virus.

Any herpes sore or blister regardless of its subtype can burn, itch, or tingle.

The HSV-2 subtype of the herpes virus causes genital sores, as well as swollen lymph nodes, body aches, and fever.

Although HSV-2 can also cause sores on the face, its much less common than genital sores.

Its difficult to look at a herpes sore and determine whether it was caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2.

To make a diagnosis, a doctor or other healthcare provider would have to take a sample of fluid from a blister lesion or take a small sample of the skin lesion and send it to a lab for testing.

Theres also a blood test available.

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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.

How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes

Herpes simplex (Cold sore): All you need to know

Your healthcare provider may diagnose genital herpes by simply looking at any sores that are present. Providers can also take a sample from the sore and test it. If sores are not present, a blood test may be used to look for HSV antibodies.

Have an honest and open talk with your healthcare provider about herpes testing and other STDs.

Please note: A herpes blood test can help determine if you have herpes infection. It cannot tell you who gave you the infection or when you got the infection.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Genital Herpes

Most individuals infected with HSV are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms that go unnoticed or are mistaken for another skin condition. 9 When symptoms do occur, herpes lesions typically appear as one or more vesicles, or small blisters, on or around the genitals, rectum or mouth. The average incubation period for an initial herpes infection is 4 days after exposure. 10 The vesicles break and leave painful ulcers that may take two to four weeks to heal after the initial herpes infection. 5,10 Experiencing these symptoms is referred to as having a first herpes outbreak or episode.

Is Genital Herpes Infection Related To Hiv

Herpes and HIV are caused by different viruses. But patients infected with these viruses are more likely to transmit either disease to their sexual partners. Patients with herpes are more vulnerable to HIV infection. People newly diagnosed with herpes should be tested for HIV infection and other sexually transmitted infections.

Patients who are infected with both herpes and HIV also may have a higher concentration of HIV viruses in their body because of the interaction between the herpes virus and the HIV virus. When HIV damages a persons immune system, the person may be more likely to shed herpes simplex virus asymptomatically.

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What Are Possible Complications Of Cold Sores In A Child

In most children, cold sores don’t 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. It can lead to long-term problems of the brain.

Cold sores in a newborn baby can cause serious illness and death. This may be the case even when treated with medicine.

How Does Genital Herpes Spread

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The herpes virus that causes genital herpes spreads through saliva, semen and vaginal secretions. Its possible to get genital herpes from someone who doesnt have visible symptoms. You can have the infection, not know it and infect someone else.

Genital herpes can spread through:

  • Oral sex with someone whos infected.
  • Skin-to-skin contact without ejaculation.
  • Touching open sores, including while breastfeeding.
  • Childbirth by a mother or gestational parent who has an active infection.

You cant get genital herpes from objects like toilet seats. But you could pass genital herpes through shared sex toys.

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Genital Herpes Is Spread By Skin

The virus can be spread when someone with HSV has an episode or an outbreak characterised by having a sore, blister, ulcer or skin split . It can also be spread between episodes, when there is no sore, blister, ulcer or skin split present called asymptomatic viral shedding.

During viral shedding the virus is on the skin surface and can be spread through genital skin-to-skin contact, or from the mouth or face to genital skin during contact.

How Do People Get Genital Herpes

Infections are transmitted through contact with HSV in herpes lesions, mucosal surfaces, genital secretions, or oral secretions. 5 HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be shed from normal-appearing oral or genital mucosa or skin. 7,8 Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during genital contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. However, receiving oral sex from a person with an oral HSV-1 infection can result in getting a genital HSV-1 infection. 4 Transmission commonly occurs from contact with an infected partner who does not have visible lesions and who may not know that he or she is infected. 7 In persons with asymptomatic HSV-2 infections, genital HSV shedding occurs on 10.2% of days, compared to 20.1% of days among those with symptomatic infections. 8

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What Is Neonatal Herpes

Neonatal herpes can be a very serious infection. Babies generally contract the virus from their birthing parent during childbirth even if the parent doesnt have active lesions. They may also get HSV-1 if an adult with an active cold sore kisses them. Breastfeeding babies can also get HSV-1 from the breast if there are lesions present. But babies cant get herpes from breast milk, so its safe to pump and feed.

Herpes simplex can be more dangerous for young babies because they dont have a fully developed immune system. But most babies with neonatal herpes can recover fully with treatment.

The dangers of neonatal herpes are much higher if the infection spreads to the babys organs. If youre pregnant and have herpes, speak with your healthcare provider about how to lower the risk of passing the infection to your baby.

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