What is Herpes?

Herpes simplex is a sexually transmitted viral disease caused either by Herpes simplex virus type and type 2. The categorization into various distinct disorders is based on the site of viral infection.

The virus rotates between episodes of active disease where blisters holding the infectious virus particles appear persisting for about 2 to 21 days. The first period of this disease is typically worse than recurrences that appear in a while. The principal clinical manifestation of herpes is an attack of painful, irritating lesions on and around the reproductive organs or on or by the lips.

This is followed by a remission phase. Subsequent to the preliminary infection, the herpes viruses move all along the path to the ganglion where they become dormant and exist there for lifetime. Individuals can expect an outbreak if a tingling sensation is felt. During this time, they are acutely contagious even if the skin looks natural. Classically, the sores entirely heal but resurface at some time in the future when least anticipated. The reasons as to why the infection recurs are indefinite while a few possible triggers have been recognized together with the use of immunosuppressant medications, excessive sunlight exposure, hyperthermia, stress, acute illness, and weakened immune system.

The virus is easily transmitted by skin-to-skin contact with an active lesion or even with visibly normal skin but is shedding virus, kissing, or body secretions of an infected person. When the blisters have dried up and crusted over, the danger of infectivity is drastically lessened. To infect an individual, the virus penetrates through small breaks or even microscopic injury in the skin or mucous membrane sufficient enough to allow viral entry.

The most dependable technique to avoid the risk of herpes spread is by means of barrier protection. Limiting the number of sexual partners into one is another move toward prevention knowing that the chances of getting infected rises with the number of sexual partners an individual has.



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