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.
What Is The Equine Herpes Virus
Equine Herpes Virus is a contagious disease that affects horses. Although there are nine strains of the virus, Equine Herpes Virus-1 and Equine Herpes Virus-4 are most commonly seen.
The current outbreak in Europe is the EHV-1 strain.
Affected horses may suffer respiratory disease, neurological disease and abortion in pregnant mares. Young foals are also at risk and can die from the infection.
Equine Herpes Virus is found in many parts of the world and cases and outbreaks can be seen at any time of year.
Certain strains of the virus can cause severe illness in horses, which can result in their stables being placed under quarantine for several weeks so that horses cannot travel and are unable to compete.
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.
- 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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Who Is At Risk For Developing Herpes Simplex Infections
Anyone can contract HSV, regardless of age. If youre exposed to HSV, youre likely to contract the virus.
Remember, HSV is very common. But because its often asymptomatic, plenty of people living with the virus never have an episode or realize theyve contracted HSV.
You may have a higher chance of contracting the virus if you:
- have a sexual partner who lives with HSV
- were assigned female at birth . suggests more AFAB folks than people assigned male at birth develop HSV, but this could also mean AFAB folks are more likely to experience symptoms.
- are immunocompromised
Some older research suggests HSV-1 antibodies may offer AFAB folks some protection against contracting HSV-2. Still, many people living with one type of the virus do contract the other type later on. You wont contract the same type of the virus again, though, since it remains dormant in your body once you acquire it.
You may have a slightly higher chance of contracting genital HSV if you have sex without using condoms or other barrier methods. Keep in mind, though, that condoms and other barrier methods wont always cover the infection site, since sores can appear on the buttocks or inner thighs.
New Or Initial Genital Herpes Infections
When a person is first infected with the herpes virus, if symptoms occur they usually develop within the first two weeks of virus transmission. Symptoms can include fever and flu-like symptoms, genital itching, burning and discomfort, vaginal discharge, swollen lymph nodes, and a feeling of abdominal pressure.
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A Blood Test Can Determine If Someone Has Genital Herpes
To find out if you have genital herpes, a doctor can take a sample from a sore and test it in the laboratory. There is also a blood test that looks for antibodies to the virus that your immune system would have made. HSV-2 almost always infects the genitals, so if antibodies to HSV-2 are detected in your blood, you probably have genital herpes.
A blood test that shows antibodies to HSV-1 means you could have genital or oral herpes. That’s because oral herpes, typically caused by HSV-1, can be spread to the genitals during oral sex.
What Causes Herpes Simplex
HSV is a contagious virus that can be transmitted through direct contact with sores.
That said, since the virus also sheds on a small percentage of days, its possible to transmit or contract HSV even when symptoms arent present. In fact, many people contract HSV from people who dont know they have the virus.
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Treating The Symptoms Of Herpes
Theres currently no cure for herpes, but there are treatments that can reduce the symptoms and make it less likely to transmit the virus to a sex partner.
Antiviral medications are prescribed to help clear up symptoms or reduce the frequency of outbreaks. Some antivirals that may be prescribed include:
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.
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Oral Treatment To Prevent Herpes Labialis Recurrences
Oral acyclovir is effective in suppressing herpes labialis in immunocompetent adults with frequent recurrences. In one RCT, treatment with oral acyclovir resulted in a 53 percent reduction in the number of clinical recurrences and a 71 percent reduction in virus culture-positive recurrences compared with placebo.19 The median time to first clinically documented recurrence was 46 days for placebo courses and 118 days for acyclovir courses.19 The mean number of recurrences per four-month treatment period was 1.80 episodes per patient during placebo treatment and 0.85 episodes per patient during acyclovir treatment.19
Treatment with oral valacyclovir for 16 weeks was compared with placebo in the suppression of herpes labialis in patients with a history of four or more recurrent lesions in the previous year.20 Results showed 60 percent of persons in the valacyclovir group were recurrence-free throughout the study period compared with 38 percent in the placebo group. The mean time to first recurrence was longer with valacyclovir compared with placebo .20
In a Cochrane review of herpes labialis prevention in patients receiving treatment for cancer, acyclovir was found to be effective in the prevention of HSV infections, as measured by oral lesions or viral isolates .13 There also was no evidence that valacyclovir is more effective than acyclovir. In another study, daily valacyclovir and acyclovir were equally effective in the prevention of recurrent HSV eye disease.21
Herpes Simplex Virus Cell Entry Mechanisms: An Update
- 1Shukla Lab, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
- 2Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, United States
Herpes simplex virus can infect a broad host range and cause mild to life threating infections in humans. The surface glycoproteins of HSV are evolutionarily conserved and show an extraordinary ability to bind more than one receptor on the host cell surface. Following attachment, the virus fuses its lipid envelope with the host cell membrane and releases its nucleocapsid along with tegument proteins into the cytosol. With the help of tegument proteins and host cell factors, the nucleocapsid is then docked into the nuclear pore. The viral double stranded DNA is then released into the host cells nucleus. Released viral DNA either replicates rapidly or stays latent inside the nucleus . The fusion of the viral envelope with host cell membrane is a key step. Blocking this step can prevent entry of HSV into the host cell and the subsequent interactions that ultimately lead to production of viral progeny and cell death or latency. In this review, we have discussed viral entry mechanisms including the pH-independent as well as pH-dependent endocytic entry, cell to cell spread of HSV and use of viral glycoproteins as an antiviral target.
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How Can I Protect My Horses
A vaccine against EHV-1 and EHV-4 is available but does not protect the horse against the neurological form of the disease.
However, the use of the vaccine can help to reduce the shedding of the virus, its transmission to other horses and the severity of the respiratory form of the disease.
The vaccine should not be used during an outbreak at stables.
Your veterinarian will be able to advise you further on the use of the vaccine.
The FEI recommends that horses which have mixed with others are closely monitored on their return home and their rectal temperature taken twice daily.
Horses that have a fever must be examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Where horses have travelled away from their home stables, strict hygiene measures should be carried out at the home stables to reduce the transmission of the virus to other horses.
It is important to make sure that horses do not share equipment such as water buckets/troughs, feed bowls, tack and grooming equipment, and that anyone working with horses washes their hands between handling horses. All vehicles used for transportation must be thoroughly cleaned between horses.
A horse displaying any signs of illness should be isolated, not leave their home yard and be examined by a veterinarian. This also applies to any horse that has been in contact with a horse or horses that have the Equine Herpes Virus.
The Gh Transmembrane And Cytoplasmic Tail
Studies support that full-length gH is essential to form the core fusion machinery . Full-length gH activates gB more efficiently than its soluble form . Replacing its cytoplasmic tail with analogous domains or amino acid substitutions made within transmembrane or cytoplasmic tail did not promote cell fusion or cell to cell fusion . Mutational studies prove that the gH cytotail regulates and activates core fusion machinery. Insertions or truncations of the gH tail directly affect the fusogenic property of the virus. Changes either reduce or completely disturb viral infectivity or cell to cell fusion . The cytoplasmic tail of gH has been proposed to influence gB viainside-out signaling on the CTD region of gB . As discussed earlier, the gH cytoplasmic tail may act as a wedge which disrupts the gB clamp and promotes the fusion reaction. Thus, truncation or insertion in the tail region affect the ability of gH to reach the gB CTD and inhibits fusion efficiency .
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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.
Take Charge Of Your Health
Oral herpes can be transmitted by kissing, sharing eating utensils or drinks, or during sex. Since oral herpes can be contracted from both Type 1 and Type 2 strains of the Herpes Simplex Virus, our doctors recommend getting tested for both of these HSV strains at the same time.
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How Is Herpes Simplex Diagnosed
In some cases, a doctor or clinician can diagnose HSV by examining the blisters. They might also ask about other symptoms, including flu-like symptoms and early signs, like tingling or burning.
Theyll likely request a culture to confirm the diagnosis. A culture involves swabbing fluid from the sore and sending it to a laboratory for testing.
If you believe youve been exposed to HSV but have no symptoms, a blood test can determine whether you have HSV antibodies. Just know that blood tests may not accurately detect HSV until 12 weeks after youve acquired the infection.
General STI screenings typically dont include testing for HSV, so youll want to ask your doctor or clinician about getting tested for HSV if you believe you could have the virus.
You can also test yourself for HSV antibodies with an at-home testing kit. Compare at-home herpes tests.
- foscarnet or cidofovir for HSV infections that resist other medications
Antiviral medications can also help lower your chances of transmitting the virus during an episode or shedding it when you dont have symptoms.
Note: Theres no evidence to suggest taking antivirals will lower your chances of contracting the virus if you dont have HSV.
These medications generally come in the form of pills and creams. Your doctor or clinician may also recommend an injection of medication to treat severe symptoms.
Symptoms Of Herpes Simplex Virus Type
Oral Herpes infection is mostly asymptomatic symptoms of oral herpes include blisters or open sores/cold sores in or around the mouth. Cold sores start as small sores around the lips which grows into blisters after a few days. After bleeding, a crust forms, and it generally heals in one to two weeks.
Initially, infected patients will start to feel a tingling or burning sensation around their mouth, then the blisters and or open sores occur periodically thereafter. HSV-1 can also cause genital herpes that can be asymptomatic. However, the symptoms usually include blisters around the genital area.
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Other Infections And Complications
). Transmission usually occurs at birth, when the baby comes into contact with infected secretions in the birth canal. Rarely, HSV is transmitted to the fetus during pregnancy. Transmission during birth is more likely when
The mother has recently acquired the herpes infection
The mother has visible herpes sores in the vaginal area, although babies may become infected from mothers who have no apparent sores
When acquired at birth, the infection appears between the 1st and 4th week of life. Newborns with HSV infection become very ill. They may have widespread disease, brain infection, or skin infection. Without treatment, about 85% of those with widespread disease and about half of those with a brain infection die. Even with treatment, many have brain damage.
What Do The Results Mean
Your HSV test results will be given as negative, also called normal, or positive, also called abnormal.
Negative/Normal. The herpes virus was not found. You may still have an HSV infection if your results were normal. It may mean the sample didn’t have enough of the virus to be detected. If you still have symptoms of herpes, you may need to get tested again.
Positive/Abnormal. HSV was found in your sample. It may mean you have an active infection , or were infected in the past .
If you tested positive for HSV, talk to your health care provider. While there is no cure for herpes, it hardly ever causes serious health problems. Some people may only have one outbreak of sores their whole lives, while others break out more often. If you want to reduce the severity and number of your outbreaks, your provider may prescribe a medicine that can help.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Herpes Is A Common Infection
Herpes is a super-common infection that stays in your body for life. More than half of Americans have oral herpes, and about 1 out of 6 Americans has genital herpes. So chances are a few people you know are living with herpes.
Theres no cure for herpes, but medication can ease your symptoms and lower your chances of giving the virus to other people. And the good news is, outbreaks usually become less frequent over time, and even though herpes can sometimes be uncomfortable and painful, its not dangerous. People with herpes have relationships, have sex, and live perfectly healthy lives.
How Do You Get Herpes
The skin on your genitals, mouth, and eyes can be infected easily. Other areas of skin may get infected if theres a way for the herpes virus to get in, like through a cut, burn, rash, or other sores. You dont have to have sex to get herpes. Sometimes herpes can be passed in non-sexual ways, like if a parent with a cold sore gives you a peck on the lips. Most people with oral herpes got it when they were kids. A mother can pass genital herpes to a baby during vaginal childbirth, but thats pretty rare.
You can spread herpes to other parts of your body if you touch a herpes sore and then touch your mouth, genitals, or eyes without washing your hands first. You can also pass herpes to someone else this way.
Herpes is most contagious when sores are open and wet, because fluid from herpes blisters easily spreads the virus. But herpes can also shed and get passed to others when there are no sores and your skin looks totally normal.
Most people get herpes from someone who doesnt have any sores. It may live in your body for years without causing any symptoms, so its really hard to know for sure when and how you got it. Thats why so many people have herpes its a pretty sneaky infection.
Because the virus dies quickly outside the body, you cant get herpes from hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on toilet seats.
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