Where Does The Herpes Virus Live In The Body
The herpes simplex viruses are latent, meaning they can live in the body without causing symptoms. After the initial infection, the virus gets into the nerve roots and spreads to the sensory nerve ganglia, the junctions where nerves from different parts of the body come together. For the genital area, the ganglia are adjacent to the spinal cord in the lower back. For orofacial herpes , the ganglia are located behind the cheek bone.
If You Have Genital Herpes Already Can It Be Spread To Other Parts Of The Body Such As The Arms Or Legs
No. Genital herpes cannot be transmitted to another part of your body such as your arm, leg or hand after the first infection occurs. If you have genital HSV II, you will not get HSV II at another site in your body. The immune system produces antibodies that protect other parts of your body from infection. However, there are cases where a person has multiple site infections from the same virus. This is usually acquired at the time of the first infection. For example, if someone has never had herpes but then has oral and genital sex with an infected partner, they can acquire the infection at both sites.
Learn How To Date With Herpes
Yes, you can still date, and quite successfully too. This is all about confidence, self-respect, and honesty. Once you have come to terms with the diagnosis, it will be easier to inform and reassure potential partners about it without scaring them away. Thats because, believe it or not, its your attitude and feelings about it that will come across the most.
Now heres the facts: You do have to inform your partners before intimacy happens. But it doesnt have to be as hard as it seems. There is a right way to tell someone you have herpes: Calmly, informatively, and aware. Let them know that having sex with you doesnt necessarily mean they will get it. Let them know the herpes transmission rates when using forms of protection like taking Valtrax and using condoms. Theyre surprisingly low.
Of course, if youd like to avoid having the talk, you can do that too by dating people who have herpes. Thats because there are herpes dating sites you can use, in particular Positive Singles, which you can read more about here.
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How Do I Talk With People About Having Herpes
It might feel scary to admit you have herpes, but talking about things can really ease your mind. You could lean on a close, non-judgmental friend that you trust to keep the conversation private. Parents, brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and other family members can also be a source of comfort. Remember, herpes is really common, so its possible the person youre talking to has herpes, too.
There are a lot of online support groups for people who have herpes, and the American Sexual Health Association has a list of support groups that meet in person.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
If you’ve been diagnosed with herpes, there are some circumstances where you may benefit from medical care. These may include having:
- An outbreak that isn’t helped by treatment and self-care strategies
Self-care strategies during outbreaks can help with pain and discomfort, including:
- Keeping the affected area clean and dry
- Using over-the-counter pain relievers
- Place cold compresses over affected areas
For at-home care for cold sores specifically:
- Apply non-prescription antiviral ointment
- Avoid eating spicy, acidic, or salty foods
- Use petroleum jelly to keep surrounding skin moisturized
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What To Do When Youre Diagnosed With Herpes
It can be shocking to hear the word herpes in the doctors office. If youre caught off guard or overwhelmed, you may not register what your medical provider is telling you, says Dr. Navya Mysore, family doctor and primary care provider.
Mysore says genital herpes can be caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2. HSV-1 is most commonly related to cold sores, which a large amount of the population have. However, HSV-1 can also be the virus that causes genital herpes and HSV-2 can be the virus that gives you cold sores, she says.
While at the doctors office, dont be afraid to ask all the questions you may have, and make sure you ask for clarification if you dont understand something.
He says herpes outbreak prevention may involve taking a once- or twice-daily antiviral medication, and the treatment of active outbreaks involves topical treatment, an antiviral medication, and sometimes a painkiller. Maintaining a consistent medication schedule is key to successfully managing herpes and preventing active outbreaks, he explains.
Between your appointments, create a list of questions you have about your diagnosis. That way you wont forget anything.
Find An Experienced Ob
As previously mentioned, most people living with herpes dont realize that they have the virus. The virus is classified into two: herpes simplex virus type 2 and herpes simplex virus type 1. It is transmitted by sexual contact, contact with infected saliva, or mouth-to-mouth contact. While the symptoms come and go, these types of herpes are incurable and contagious. Also, the virus does not always show symptoms, so getting tested is essential. The qualified gynecologists at All Womens Care in Los Angeles can test you and assist you in managing the virus. To learn more about herpes and how we can help you, call us today at .
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How Is Fhv Infection Diagnosed
In most cases, a specific diagnosis of FHV infection will not be required. The presence of typical signs of URI is enough for a presumptive diagnosis of FHV infection. If a specific diagnosis is required, ocular or oral swabs can be submitted to a veterinary laboratory where the virus can be grown in culture or, more commonly, detected by PCR . Evidence of the virus may also be present in biopsies and can be useful for the diagnosis of FHV-associated dermatitis .
Can A Cat With Herpes Be Around Other Cats
One of the most common causes of sneezing and nasal discharge in cats is feline herpesvirus, which can also cause serious eye problems. Although the virus is extremely contagious to cats, dogs and humans are not affected.
There are three types of viruses known as herpes viruses. It is impossible to describe the symptoms of an herpes virus infection or flareup in the simplest terms. If your other cats have been exposed to the virus, you are most likely to be at risk. There are few precautions you can take if you have cats living in your home. Stress is thought to be the root cause of herpes virus flare-ups in cats. The virus poses a serious threat to young kittens, elderly cats, and cats with weakened immune systems. If your cat becomes ill during this time, youll most likely have to take him to the hospital. Before making any changes to your pets diet, medication, or physical activity routine, consult with your veterinarian first.
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Is It Safe To Breastfeed If I Have Genital Herpes
Yes as long as there isnt an open lesion on your chest or breast. If you have an active outbreak while breastfeeding, its possible to spread the infection to your nipples through touch. Careful hand-washing can prevent this spread. You shouldnt nurse from a breast that has herpes sores. You can pump breast milk until the sores heal. Dont give your baby expressed breast milk if the pump comes into contact with an open sore.
Do Condoms Help Prevent The Spread Of Genital Herpes
Yes. To prevent transmission of herpes, we recommend that condoms be used 100% of the time. Many patients will shed the virus and be contagious when they dont have symptoms. Studies have shown that asymptomatic shedding occurs between 1% and 3% of the time in patients with HSV II genital infections. Many new herpes infections occur from partners who are shedding the virus asymptomatically, so condoms are highly recommended.
Condoms may not be an attractive option for monogamous couples or for couples who desire to become pregnant. Couples may opt to have serological tests to determine if either partner has an asymptomatic infection. In close monogamous relationships, the risks of transmission can be weighed against other relationship issues, such as intimacy and pregnancy.
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Tips For Managing Herpes Symptoms
The symptoms of herpes can be painful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a few things you can easily do at home to help ease these symptoms, including:
- Apply an ice pack or warm compress to the affected area.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen.
- Keep the affected area clean and dry to reduce the risk of infection.
- Avoid tight clothing that may irritate genital sores.
- Dont pop blisters or pick at scabs that form over the sores.
- Ask your healthcare provider to recommend a painkilling cream.
Taking proper care of your skin and overall health while experiencing an outbreak can help to prevent complications like infection and assist in faster healing for your sores. Keep in mind that you are especially contagious during an outbreak, so its best to avoid intimate contact, such as kissing or sex, until the sores heal.
Herpes Myths To Stop Freaking Out About
A surprising number of people you know probably have herpes.
Shocked? You shouldnt be, since the virus is very common. According to the World Health Organization, 3.7 billion people under age 50 have herpes simplex virus type 1 thats 67 percent of the global population in that age bracket. Another 417 million people between ages 15 and 49 worldwide have herpes simplex virus type 2 .
Many people consider HSV-1 more benign, but it turns out theres not much difference between the two types of virus. While its true that HSV-2 is a sexually transmitted disease and can cause genital sores or blisters, type 1 can do the same thing.
One big misconception is that cold sores are caused by HSV-1 and genital herpes are always type 2, but thats not always the case, says Sarah Vensel, a physician assistant in San Francisco. Cold sores are so common theyve been normalized at this point. But genital herpes is sometimes the exact same virus just in a different location.
Not only is herpes incredibly common its also totally manageable. Allow us to set your mind at ease and debunk three widespread herpes myths:
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How You Got Herpes
Close physical contact spreads herpes. You cant catch it through the air, like the cold virus. Most people pass oral herpes by sharing personal objects, such as toothbrushes, forks or razors, or by kissingeven a nonsexual greeting between friends or family.
Genital herpes transmits through sexual activity. A key fact: you can become infected even if your partner shows no symptoms.
Safe sex using barrier methods like condoms is the best prevention for anything that is passed through mucous membranes, Dr. Brayer says. But its really important to note that you cant tell where you got genital herpes, because it lies dormant. Its not like other venereal diseases where you can say, Oh, I didnt have it and now I have it, so I got it from you. You could have been exposed a long time agoso you cant really point fingers.
Type Of Tests Used To Diagnose Herpes
There are four main types of diagnostic tests that can be used to diagnose herpes. Your doctor will determine which type of test to use based on whether an outbreak is present or not.
If youre experiencing what you believe to be a herpes outbreak, your doctor can use a viral culture test or virus antigen detection test. If youre not experiencing symptoms, you can have an antibody test.
- Viral culture test.This test is used to determine if a sore contains the herpes virus. This test can sometimes produce a false-negative, meaning that it may not detect the virus even though its present.
- Virus antigen detection test. This test is used to determine if antigens to the herpes virus are present in a sore or lesion.
- Antibody test. If youre not experiencing an outbreak yet but still believe you may have been exposed, you can opt to have an antibody test performed. This test will only show a positive result if the antibodies to the virus have been developed. Therefore, this test isnt necessarily recommended for recent exposure.
- Polymerase chain reaction test. With this test, a healthcare provider can screen a sample of your blood or tissue from a sore. They can use this to determine if HSV is present and which type you have.
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What Are The Complications Of Genital Herpes
Genital herpes may cause painful genital ulcers that can be severe and persistent in persons with suppressed immune systems, such as HIV-infected persons. 5 Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can also cause rare but serious complications such as aseptic meningitis . 5 Development of extragenital lesions may occur during the course of infection. 5
There are also potential complications for a pregnant woman and her newborn child. See How does herpes infection affect a pregnant woman and her baby? below for information about this.
Be Open With Your Partner Before Sex
If you have a confirmed or suspected HSV-2 infection, it’s important to make sure your partner is informed before becoming sexually active.
Condoms can help keep the virus from spreading, but they don’t prevent all types of transmission. In fact, the transmission of HSV-2 via oral sex is possible even if there are no sores present on the genitals or mouth.
Though it’s impossible to completely eliminate the chances of transmission, prevention techniques are very effective. For example, one large study reported that only 1.9% of susceptible partners became infected with clinically symptomatic HSV-2 when given the antiviral valacyclovir as a precautionary treatment.
It’s essential to be open and honest with your partner. By improving communication, educating yourselves, and managing expectations, you can better reduce the risk of spreading a genital herpes infection to your partner.
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How Serious Is Feline Herpes
Feline herpes is a serious viral infection that can cause upper respiratory tract disease in cats. The virus is highly contagious and can be spread through direct contact with an infected cat, or through contact with contaminated objects, such as food bowls or litter boxes. Symptoms of feline herpes include runny nose, watery eyes, sneezing, and fever. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, and even death. There is no cure for feline herpes, but the virus can be controlled with antiviral medications.
Viruses that can cause cat pain include feline Herpes virus, feline neutropenia virus, and feline rhinotracheitis virus. A cat can live for years or even decades after being infected with the disease. Animals that live alone in multi-cat households, have breeding facilities, or are rescued or outdoor cats are more likely to contract the disease. The unfortunate cat will almost certainly develop pneumonia as a result of being infected with the herpes virus. In the most basic cases, the prognosis is good. Chronic nasal passage changes, as well as ulceration of the oral cavity, can be painful for cats. This could be avoided if veterinary attention is given to any signs of this problem as soon as possible.
How Long Before The First Outbreak
If someone has contracted HSV but not yet experienced a herpes outbreak, truthfully theres no 100% accurate way to determine when one will occur. An outbreak can occur within a week of exposure, or years later.
First, consider that everyones body is different, as is their immune system. If a person has a strong immune system, then it can be possible for an outbreak to occur years after contracting the virus.
Whats more, some strains of HSV are more forceful and aggravating than others.
There is what is considered typical, and that is that people often have their first outbreak two weeks after contracting it. But this just isnt reliable, because its equally accepted that people can often have outbreaks after two years.
Thats why so many people will have trouble pinpointing when they got herpes at all. There are varied statistics and possibilities:
Stress is a common trigger for an outbreak.
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Does Herpes Last A Lifetime
Herpes is a lifelong disease. While herpes outbreaks will only last a few weeks out of the year, it is something that will recur throughout the rest of your life. As such, that also means you will always be contagious.
If you suffer from herpes, discuss ways you can prevent the virus from spreading to your partner with your doctor.