Herpes is disease that damages the skin and mucous membrane. It is caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). This virus affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, and skin in other parts of the body. Herpes is a long-term condition. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus. There are two types of HSV:
- Type 1 causes oral herpes which most often affects the lips and the area around the mouth causing cold sores.
- Type 2 causes genital herpes, which usually affects the reproductive organs.
Herpes spread by contact with infected areas or surfaces. One can get oral herpes from kissing or using someone’s lipstick, towels or dishes. One can get genital herpes by having intimacy or sharing intimate toys.
The rate of the infection of these two types of herpes simplex virus is around 90% worldwide. The disease is often at its latent period when it enters the body until the individual’s body defenses weakened due to illness, stress, lower temperature, etc.
Symptoms of Herpes
-Pain when urinating
– Cold sores on the mouth and genital areas
-Discharges from the genitals.
Although there is no cure for herpes, it can be treated using medications and home remedies. Most people do not experience symptoms for months or years after becoming infected. Those who do have symptoms during the initial period will usually notice them about 4 days after exposure (the average range is 2-12 days). Herpes is a long-term condition. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus. Receiving oral intimacy from somebody who has cold sores around their mouth significantly raises the risk of becoming infected. It is impossible to get genital herpes from a toilet seat.
Primary infection symptoms
Primary infection is a term used for an outbreak of genital herpes that occurs when a person is first infected. The symptoms can be quite severe and may include:
- Blisters and ulceration on external genitalia, in the vagina, or on the cervix.
- Vaginal discharge.
- Pain and itching.
- Tender, enlarged lymph nodes.
- Pain when urinating.
- High temperature (fever).
- Malaise (feeling unwell).
- Cold sores around the mouth.
- Red blisters on the skin.
In most cases, the ulcers will heal, and the individual will not have any lasting scars.
Using a condom reduces the risk of infection but does not ensure complete protection.
Treatment and Prevention
- Acyclovir: treatment of choice
–shortens the duration of lesions.
– reduces the extent of shedding of the virus.
- Penciclovir (a derivative of acyclovir) or
Docosanol: recurrences of orolabial HSV-1
- Valacyclovir and famiciclovir: genital herpes and in the suppression of recurrences
Transmission can be reduced by:
- Avoidance of contact with potential virus- shedding lesions.
- Safe sexual practice.
- Antiviral therapy.