What Can I Do If I Have Herpes Simplex 2
Many people who find out they have herpes feel depressed knowing they’ll always have the virus and can give it to others. But you arent alone. Herpes is one of the most common STIs, both in the U.S. and worldwide. If you have herpes, you should:
- Learn all you can about it. Information will help you to manage your disease and feel better about yourself.
- Talk about your illness with your doctor.
If you have herpes, you can still:
- Have sex if you use a condom or dental dam , and you tell your partner about your illness. Some couples, who have sexual relations only with each other, may choose not to use condoms even though one partner has herpes. Because each situation is different, you should ask your doctor if this is the right choice for you in your relationship.
- Have children. People with herpes can still give birth to healthy babies. If you have herpes and plan to have children, discuss your illness with your healthcare provider.
If you have herpes, you should also get checked for HIV and other STIs .
Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
Herpes simplex virus type 2 spreads through sexual contact and is a type of sexually transmitted infection .
Both types of HSV develop as a result of direct contact with the virus.
HSV-1 most commonly spreads through oral-to-oral contact, which can be with sores, saliva, or the area around the mouth. Transmission may also occur due to sharing lip balm, a toothbrush, or any other product that has come into contact with HSV.
People have a much higher risk of contracting HSV-1 if they come into contact with someone who has an active outbreak of symptoms. In some cases, it is also possible for people to transmit HSV-1 during sexual activity.
Transmission of HSV-2
Worst Foods To Eat If You Have Herpes
The herpes simplex virus is incurable once youre infected, it stays with you for life. That may be a downer, but many people turn to lifestyle changes to help manage the condition and prevent outbreaks of the two types of herpes one that brings on cold sores and one that results in genital blisters. Staying away from certain foods or limiting your intake of them is a good cautionary step, but talk to your doctor about preventing herpes and managing outbreaks. She may suggest medications and supplements to deal with the condition.
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Feline Herpes: The Basics
Although there is no cure for herpes virus infection, most cats recover from the condition and continue to live normally. The aim of the therapy is to reduce the frequency and severity of recurrences. fever, sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing are common symptoms of feline herpes. For cats, a mild respiratory infection can result in a low-grade case of illness. When the virus spreads to other parts of the body, it can cause infections in the urinary and genital tracts as well as a more serious pneumonia. The infection of cats with feline herpes can result in serious complications in kittens and immunosuppressed cats. It is critical to detect and treat the disease as soon as possible in order to achieve a full recovery.
Feline Herpes Flare Up Symptoms And Treatment
The medical term for feline herpes is feline viral rhinopneumonitis or feline herpesvirus type 1 . It is also known as cat flu or cat herpes. It is a virus that is prone to a feline herpes flare up.
What is a feline herpes flare up?
A flare up is when the herpes virus goes from the dormant stage to the active stage and symptoms start to appear.
How long does a flare up last?
All three of my cats have feline herpes. When Zoli entered the family he had gotten it from his mother and passed it along to Feri and Gyula. Since Zoli already had it, I didnt know what to expect when Feri and Gyula contracted it. All I know is the vet said that they would be sick and lethargic for a couple of weeks. That was kind of an understatement.
Feri got it first and was sick for about 2 weeks. He sneezed and slept a lot. Gyula got it near Feris tail end of the disease and he was sick for almost a month. I could tell he was achy and miserable. So the symptoms mimicked the flu for us.
If I catch a flare up quickly, it may go away within 24 hours. If I do not, then its usually 3 to 4 days. They arent as terribly sick as when they first got the virus. Now, it is more of sneezing and watery eyes.
Is the feline herpes virus contagious?
What are the symptoms of cat herpes?
Cat herpes symptoms mimic having a cold. Cats may:
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How To Treat Feline Herpes
The herpes virus in cats is currently not treated with any specific medications however, if severe symptoms occur, human antiviral medications, such as famciclovir, may be beneficial. The medication famibiclovir may reduce the symptoms of an infection as well as the virus shedding in the blood of an infected cat.
The feline population is widely infected with feline herpesvirus . Conjunctival infection is the most common type of infection in the eye. Almost all cats experience persistent latency after an initial, usually self-limiting infection in 80% of cases. In cats, FHV-1 causes discomfort in the eyes, as well as ulcers healing for an extended period of time. Conjunival inflammation can be relieved by topical mucinomimetics such as sodium hyaluronate or 1-2% methycellulose, which are preservative-free. Medication is ineffective in stopping viral replication, but antiviral medications can slow or stop virus replication.
How To Cope After Diagnosis
Many posters were occupied with the issue of passing on the infection. Yolandayw points out that you can minimise the risk of transmission by postponing sex until all the sores have healed. She also mentioned that condoms should be used. They wont completely prevent transmission but they will help.
Ending on a positive note, many posters emphasised that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Learning of the diagnosis may feel stressful at first, but its a manageable condition and certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Lucy03934 has had genital herpes for 25 years. Shes been married for 18 years and has two sons living proof that there is life after herpes.
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How Common Is Genital Herpes
Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. CDC estimated that there were 572,000 new genital herpes infections in the United States in a single year.1 Nationwide, 11.9 % of persons aged 14 to 49 years have HSV-2 infection .2 However, the prevalence of genital herpes infection is higher than that because an increasing number of genital herpes infections are caused by HSV-1. 3 Oral HSV-1 infection is typically acquired in childhood because the prevalence of oral HSV-1 infection has declined in recent decades, people may have become more susceptible to contracting a genital herpes infection from HSV-1. 4
HSV-2 infection is more common among women than among men the percentages of those infected during 2015-2016 were 15.9% versus 8.2% respectively, among 14 to 49 year olds. 2 This is possibly because genital infection is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men during penile-vaginal sex. 5 HSV-2 infection is more common among non-Hispanic blacks than among non-Hispanic whites . 2 A previous analysis found that these disparities, exist even among persons with similar numbers of lifetime sexual partners. Most infected persons may be unaware of their infection in the United States, an estimated 87.4% of 14 to 49 year olds infected with HSV-2 have never received a clinical diagnosis. 6
The age-adjusted percentage of persons in the United States infected with HSV-2 decreased from 18.0% in 19992000 to 12.1% in 2015-2016. 2
Symptoms Of Genital Herpes
Primary Genital Herpes Outbreak
For people with symptoms, the first outbreak usually occurs in or around the genital area 2 days to 2 weeks after sexual exposure to the virus. The first signs are a tingling sensation in the affected areas and groups of small red bumps that develop into blisters. Over the next 2 to 3 weeks, more blisters can appear and rupture into painful open sores. The lesions eventually dry out, develop a crust, and heal rapidly without leaving a scar. Blisters in moist areas heal more slowly than those in dry areas. The sores may sometimes itch, but itching decreases as they heal.
About 40% of men and 70% of women develop other symptoms during initial outbreaks of genital herpes, such as flu-like discomfort, headache, muscle aches, and fever. Swollen glands may occur in the groin area or neck. Some women may have difficulty urinating and may, occasionally, require a urinary catheter. Women may also experience vaginal discharge.
Recurrent Genital Herpes Outbreak
In general, recurrences are much milder than the initial outbreak. The virus sheds for a much shorter period of time compared to an initial outbreak of 3 weeks. Women may have only minor itching, and the symptoms may be even milder in men.
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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.
Is There A Cure Or Treatment For Herpes
There is no cure for herpes. Antiviral medications can, however, prevent or shorten outbreaks during the period of time the person takes the medication.11 In addition, daily suppressive therapy for herpes can reduce the likelihood of transmission to partners.11
There is currently no commercially available vaccine that is protective against genital herpes infection. Candidate vaccines are in clinical trials.
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How Often Can Genital Herpes Come Back
Some people get no further episodes, while a few get frequent recurrences. If you do, you could ask your doctor for antiviral pills to prevent outbreaks see antiviral treatment, or you can try self-help treatments. There are two pages of suggestions on our Tips to prevent recurrences leaflet. It is available to members. Outbreaks normally decline in frequency and severity over time.
Genital Herpes And Pregnancy
Women with herpes before pregnancy can usually expect to have a healthy baby and a vaginal delivery.
If you have genital herpes during pregnancy, there’s a risk your baby could develop a serious illness called neonatal herpes.
This can be fatal, but most babies recover with antiviral treatment.
The risk of your baby getting neonatal herpes is low if you have had genital herpes before.
It’s higher if you get genital herpes for the first time in pregnancy.
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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.
What Else Should I Know
Genital herpes is a lifelong condition, but there are ways to manage it. If you have genital herpes:
- Take medicines to stop outbreaks or make them less frequent and less severe.
- Help reduce the risk of spreading genital herpes to others by taking medicines, always using a condom during sex, and avoiding sex during outbreaks.
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Who Might Get Genital Herpes
Genital herpes affects sexually active teens and adults of all genders and races. It can spread if you have multiple sexual partners and dont use condoms, including dental dams.
Women are more at risk. Delicate vaginal tissue can tear, making it easier for the infection to get in. Black women are especially vulnerable. An estimated 1 in 2 Black women between the ages of 14 and 49 is infected with HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes.
Is Herpes Simplex Related To Herpes Zoster
Like HSV-1 and HSV-2, shingles can cause a painful, blistering rash. The shingles rash usually shows up on the back, side, abdomen , neck and face. It is often only on half of your body, following the pattern of your nerves. See your healthcare provider if you have a new rash and suspect you may have shingles.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Herpes simplex is a virus. Once you have herpes, its a lifelong condition. A herpes infection can lead to outbreaks , but youll also have times when you have no symptoms. The main sign of herpes is sores that appear on the infected skin. Some people choose not to treat herpes, especially if symptoms are mild. Others take antiviral medications to reduce the severity and frequency of outbreaks.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 05/17/2022.
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How Will My Healthcare Provider Know If I Have Genital Herpes
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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How Does Herpes Simplex Spread
Herpes spreads through close contact with a person who has the infection. The virus can be found in skin and saliva. If you have herpes simplex, you are most likely to pass the virus to another person when you have sores. But you can infect someone else even if you have no symptoms. Healthcare providers call this asymptomatic viral shedding.
People may get HSV-1 through
- Touching a persons skin near the mouth.
- Sharing food utensils, lip balm or razors.
- If you receive oral sex from someone who has a cold sore, it may spread a herpes infection to your genitals.
People may get HSV-2 through
- Oral sex with someone whos infected.
- 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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How Many Genital Herpes Recurrences Will I Have
Researchers know the average number of outbreaks but you are not average! Does knowing how many children a woman has on average tell you how many you will have?
However, we know that outbreaks are about 6 times more frequent with a type 2 genital infection than when it is caused by type 1. So a person who is having a lot of genital herpes recurrences is more likely to have herpes simplex type 2.
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How To Manage Herpes Flare
If you have herpes, youre not alone. Few people talk about it, but more than 1 in 6 people have herpes type 2. There are two types of herpes: herpes simplex I and herpes simplex 2. HSV-2 is the type of herpes that causes genital herpes.
Genital herpes causes flare-ups from time to time, and they can be extremely uncomfortable. You need to learn how to manage them. Dr. Alan Patterson explains more about how to manage your symptoms when your herpes flares up.
Cold Sores: Discovery Reveals How Stress Illness And Even Sunburn Trigger Flareups
- University of Virginia Health System
- The finding could lead to new ways to prevent cold sores and herpes-related eye disease from reoccurring, the researchers report.
Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have shed light on what causes herpes simplex virus to flare up, explaining how stress, illness and even sunburn can trigger unwanted outbreaks.
The discovery could lead to new ways to prevent cold sores and herpes-related eye disease from reoccurring, the researchers report.
“Herpes simplex recurrence has long been associated with stress, fever and sunburn,” said researcher Anna R. Cliffe, PhD, of UVA’s Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cancer Biology. “This study sheds light on how all these triggers can lead to herpes simplex-associated disease.”
About Herpes Simplex Recurrence
Once you’re infected with herpes simplex virus — and more half of Americans are — the virus never really goes away. Instead, it lurks inside neurons, waiting for the right moment to strike again, a process known as reactivation.
Cold sores, also known as fever blisters, are one of the most common symptoms of HSV reactivation. Recurrent reactivation in the eye leads to herpes keratitis, which, if left untreated, can result in blindness. HSV infection has also been linked to the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.