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admin | Category: What Is The Signs Of Herpes | 07.12.2013
Herpes simplex is part of a group of other herpes viruses that include human herpes virus 8 (the cause of Kaposi's sarcoma) and herpes zoster (the virus responsible for shingles and chicken pox).
The herpes simplex virus passes moves through bodily fluids (saliva, semen, fluid in the female genital tract) or in fluid from herpes sores. The virus must have direct access to the noninfected person through injuries in their skin or mucus membranes (such as in the mouth or genital area). The virus enters vulnerable cells in the lower layers of skin tissue and tries to reproduce in the cell nuclei. However, if the virus destroys the host cells when it multiplies, inflammation and fluid-filled blisters or ulcers appear.
This close-up view of early herpes outbreak shows small, grouped blisters (vesicles) and lots of inflammation (erythema). To infect people, the herpes simplex viruses (both HSV-1 and HSV-2) must get into the body through broken skin or a mucous membrane, such as inside the mouth or on the genital area. Once the virus has contact with the mucous membranes or skin wounds, it begins to replicate. Sometimes, infected people can transmit the virus and infect other parts of their own bodies (most often the hands, thighs, or buttocks).
People with active symptoms of genital herpes are at very high risk for transmitting the infection. In the past, genital herpes was mostly caused by HSV-2, but HSV-1 genital infection is increasing. 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, fever, and swollen glands.
Oral herpes (herpes labialis) is most often caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) but can also be caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-2).
The blisters eventually rupture as painful open sores, develop a yellowish membrane before healing, and disappear within 3 - 14 days.
Although the prevalence of genital herpes is declining in the United States, it still remains in epidemic proportions. Risk factors for genital herpes include a history of a prior sexually transmitted disease, early age for first sexual intercourse, a high number of sexual partners, and poor socioeconomic status.
People with compromised immune systems, notably patients with HIV, are at very high risk for HSV-2.
The following are examples of people who are at particularly risk for specific forms of herpes. Wrestlers, rugby players, and other athletes who participate in direct contact sports without protective clothing. Genital herpes is contagious from the first signs of tingling and burning (prodrome) until the time that sores have completely healed. To reduce the risk of passing the herpes virus to another part of your body (such as the eyes and fingers), avoid touching a herpes blister or sore during an outbreak. Pregnant women who are infected with either herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) or herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) genital herpes have a higher risk for miscarriage, premature labor, retarded fetal growth, or transmission of the herpes infection to the infant while in the uterus or at the time of delivery..
During a first infection, the virus is shed for longer periods, and more viral particles are excreted.
The risk for transmission also increases if infants with infected mothers are born prematurely, if there is invasive monitoring, or if instruments are required during vaginal delivery. Very rarely, the virus is transmitted across the placenta, a form of the infection known as congenital herpes.
Infants may acquire congenital herpes from a mother with an active herpes infection at the time of birth. Unfortunately, only 5% of infected pregnant women have a history of symptoms, so in many cases herpes infection is not suspected, or symptoms are missed, at the time of delivery.
Obtaining routine herpes cultures on all women during the prenatal period is not recommended. Some doctors recommend anti-viral medication for pregnant women who are infected with HSV-2. Herpes infection in a newborn can cause a range of symptoms, including skin rash, fevers, mouth sores, and eye infections. Herpes meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord, occurs in up to 10% of cases of primary genital HSV-2. Iridocyclitis is another serious complication of ocular herpes, in which the iris and the area around it become inflamed. Herpes simplex is particularly devastating when it occurs in immunocompromised patients and, unfortunately, coinfection is common. The majority of patients with HIV are co-infected with HSV-2 and are particularly vulnerable to its complications. According to the CDC, up to 50% of first-episode cases of genital herpes are now caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Viral culture tests are made by taking a fluid sample, or culture, from the lesions as early as possible, ideally within the first 3 days of appearance.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are much more accurate than viral cultures, and the CDC recommends this test for detecting herpes in spinal fluid when diagnosing herpes encephalitis (see below).
An older type of virologic testing, the Tzanck smear test, uses scrapings from herpes lesions. Serologic (blood) tests can identify antibodies that are specific to the virus and its type, herpes virus simplex 1 (HSV-1) or herpes virus simplex 2 (HSV-2). Serologic tests are most accurate when administered 12 - 16 weeks after exposure to the virus. False-negative (testing negative when herpes infection is actually present) results can occur if tests are done in the early stages of infection.
Brain biopsy is the most reliable method of diagnosing herpes encephalitis, but it is also the most invasive and is generally performed only if the diagnosis is uncertain. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay of cerebrospinal fluid looks for tiny pieces of the DNA of the virus, and then replicates them millions of times until the virus is detectable. Other conditions that may be confused with oral herpes include herpangina (a form of the Coxsackie A virus), sore throat caused by strep or other bacteria, and infectious mononucleosis. Conditions that may be confused with genital herpes include bacterial and yeast infections, genital warts, herpes zoster (shingles), molluscum (a virus disease which produces small rounded swellings), scabies, syphilis, and certain cancers.
In a few cases, HSV-2 may occur without lesions and resemble cystitis and urinary tract infections. Simple corneal scratches can cause the same pain as herpetic infection, but these usually resolve within 24 hours and don't exhibit the corneal lesions characteristic of herpes simplex. Skin disorders that may mimic herpes simplex include shingles and chicken pox (both caused by varicella-zoster, another herpes virus), impetigo, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a serious inflammatory disease usually caused by a drug allergy. Antiviral drugs called nucleosides or nucleotide analogues are the main drugs used to treat genital herpes. The drugs are used initially to treat a first attack of herpes, and then afterward to either suppress the virus or treat recurrent outbreaks. Because the frequency of herpes recurrences often diminishes over time, patients should discuss annually with their doctors whether they should stay with drug therapy or discontinue it. Acyclovir (Zovirax), valacyclovir (Valtrex), and famciclovir (Famvir) -- the anti-viral pills used to treat genital herpes -- can also treat the cold sores associated with oral herpes.
Penciclovir (Denavir) heals herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) sores on average about half a day faster than without treatment, stops viral shedding, and reduces the duration of pain. Docosanol cream (Abreva) is the only FDA-approved non-prescription ointment for oral herpes.
Some people report that drying the genital area with a blow dryer on the cool setting offers relief. Local application of ice packs may alleviate the pain and help reduce recurrences by suppressing the virus.
Wearing sun block helps prevent sun-triggered recurrence of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1).
Avoid sex during both outbreaks and prodromes (the early symptoms of herpes), when signs include tingling, itching, or tenderness in the infected areas. Many herbal and dietary supplement products claim to help fight herpes infection by boosting the immune system. Herpes simplex is a viral disease from the herpesviridae family caused by both Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2). Herpes viruses cycle between periods of active disease—presenting as blisters containing infectious virus particles—that last 2–21 days, followed by a remission period. Herpes simplex is most easily transmitted by direct contact with a lesion or the body fluid of an infected individual. One of the most difficult aspects of living with herpes is the knowledge that it’s with you forever. Antiviral drugs are most often prescribed to treat herpes today, such as acyclovir and famciclovir, while they effectively suppress the symptoms of an active herpes infection, the medications do little to inhibit viral shedding. However, the advent of research and latest technology has helped experts to have finally aced the possible cure for herpes – with better and promising treatment of existing herpes infections, and experimental vaccines to prevent infections from occurring. Additionally, since this drug works differently than antivirals already approved for use, it may provide a weapon against drug-resistant herpes viruses.
At Duke University, studies have focused on the herpes virus’ unique ability to lie dormant in the body for extended periods of time, and then reactivate.
The key to making this research into a viable herpes treatment, according to researchers, will be in learning how to use single strands of RNA, called microRNA, to activate the dormant virus, thereby making them vulnerable to antiviral drugs.
Researchers at the University of Florida are taking a similar approach to combatting viral infection.
Using a specially created RNA enzyme called a hammerhead ribozyme, researchers were able to keep the virus from reactivating in test animals.


In this rather complex study, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University addressed the process of viral cell penetration – a step earlier in the infection process than either viral replication or shedding. These innovative cures for herpes are encouraging, but what’s truly exciting is the possibility of a herpes vaccine. Much like pritelivir, the experimental vaccine HerpV focuses on viral shedding as the crucial function to suppress. While classified as vaccines by their developers, HerpV and GEN-003 are still mostly targeted at responding to the symptoms of an active infection. Many of these natural remedies have proven to be highly effective when used to heal herpes sores and decrease the number and frequency of herpes outbreaks. The connection between the amino acids lysine and arginine and herpes activity is fairly well documented. Bee propolis is an extremely safe antibacterial and antiviral that can be used anywhere on the body (except for the eyes) with one major exception: people who are allergic to bee pollen or who suffer from asthma should not use propolis, as it can cause an allergic reaction. Taking liquid Siberian ginseng extract is a great way reduce the duration and intensity of genital herpes outbreaks.
This popular remedy for the common cold does seem to offer some protection against viral infection. Another standby of Chinese herbal medicine, licorice root has long been used to treat herpes, shingles, and cold sores. While it may be risky to ingest high doses of zinc regularly, in a cream or ointment zinc (often sold as zinc oxide cream) is a well-known and effective treatment for herpes sores. Melissa officinalis, or lemon balm as it’s commonly called, is a versatile and proven antiviral and one of the most effective topical treatments for herpes sores.
A relative newcomer to the herpes treatment scene, red marine algae (Gigartina) has shown the ability to stimulate immune response, lessening the intensity and frequency of herpes outbreaks.
Long used as a home remedy for burns and cuts, aloe vera has also shown promise as a topical treatment for genital herpes, especially for men. When you’re suffering from a painful, itchy genital herpes outbreak, one of the most soothing remedies possible is a simple bath in warm water infused with Epsom salts.
Along with Epsom salts, baking soda is a safe, inexpensive way to dry out herpes lesions, relieve pain and itching, and speed healing. BackgroundHerpes simplex virus (HSV) commonly causes infections of the skin and mucous membranes. Each virus can be carried in bodily fluids (saliva, semen, fluid in the female genital tract) or in fluid from herpes sores. Genital herpes is most often transmitted through sexual activity, and people with multiple sexual partners are at high risk. Unfortunately, evidence suggests about a third of all herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) infections occur when the virus is shedding but producing no symptoms. For patients with symptoms, the first outbreak usually occurs in or around the genital area 1 - 2 weeks after sexual exposure to the virus.
Recurrent outbreaks of herpes simplex virus (HSV) feature most of the same symptoms at the same sites as the primary attack, but they tend to be milder and briefer.
For most people, outbreaks recur with more frequency during the first year after an initial attack. Women are more susceptible to HSV-2 infection because herpes is more easily transmitted from men to women than from women to men. This group is at higher than average risk for herpetic whitlow, herpes that occurs in the fingers. These individuals are at risk for herpes gladiatorum, an unusual form of HSV-1 that is spread by skin contact with exposed herpes sores and usually affects the head or eyes. It is almost impossible to defend against the transmission of oral herpes since it can be transmitted by very casual contact. While the chances of transmitting or contracting herpes from a toilet seat or towel are extremely low, it is advisable to wipe off toilet seats and not to share damp towels.
Although about 25 - 30% of pregnant women have genital herpes, less than 0.1% of babies are born with neonatal herpes.
Also rarely, newborns may contract herpes during the first weeks of life from being kissed by someone with a herpes cold sore. Aggressive treatment with antiviral medication is required, but may not help systemic herpes.
If there is evidence of an active outbreak, doctors usually advise a Cesarean section to prevent the baby contacting the virus in the birth canal during delivery.
Samples are cultured to detect the virus at 3 - 5-day intervals prior to delivery to determine whether viral shedding is occurring. Recent studies indicate that acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex) or famciclovir (Famvir)Valtrex can help reduce the recurrence of genital herpes and the need for Cesarean sections. In most cases, ocular herpes causes inflammation and sores on the lids or outside of the cornea that go away in a few days. DiagnosisThe herpes simplex virus is usually identifiable by its characteristic lesion: A thin-walled blister on an inflamed base of skin. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that both virologic and serologic tests be used for diagnosing genital herpes.
However, recurrences of genital herpes, and viral shedding without overt symptoms, are much less frequent with HSV-1 infection than herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). The viruses, if present, will reproduce in this fluid sample but may take 1 - 10 days to do so. PCR can make many copies of the virus’ DNA so that even small amounts of DNA in the sample can be detected.
When the herpes virus infects someone, their body’s immune system produces specific antibodies to fight off the infection. False-positive results (testing positive when herpes infection is not actually present) can also occur, although more rarely than false-negative. It is most common in infants but can appear in people of all ages, particularly people taking antibiotics or those with impaired immune systems. Studies suggest that daily drug therapy is safe and effective for up to 6 years with acyclovir, and up to 1 year with valacyclovir or famciclovir.
As with antibiotics, doctors are concerned about signs of increasing viral resistance to acyclovir and similar drugs, particularly in immunocompromised patients (such as those with AIDS). National Institutes of Health has been conducting the Herpevac Trial for Women to investigate a vaccine for preventing herpes in women who are not infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2. Ideally, the patient should apply the cream within the first hour of symptoms, although the medication can still help if applied later. They include Anbesol gel, Blistex lip ointment, Camphophenique, Herpecin-L, Viractin, and Zilactin. Home RemediesPatients can manage most herpes simplex infections that develop on the skin at home with over-the-counter painkillers and measures to relieve symptoms. Human herpes simplex virus infections: epidemiology, pathogenesis, symptomatology, diagnosis, and management. Third trimester antiviral prophylaxis for preventing maternal genital herpes simplex virus (HSV) recurrences and neonatal infection. A meta-analysis to assess the efficacy of oral antiviral treatment to prevent genital herpes outbreaks.
Infection with the herpes virus is categorized into one of several distinct disorders based on the site of infection. It is the best and completely anonymous and most trusted online dating site for people with Herpes. While there are many ways to treat the symptoms of the herpes simplex virus (HSV), there are no cures yet.
Furthermore, they are effective only in treating cells that are already infected with the virus. The news is good for several reasons: First, subjects taking pritelivir experienced dramatically less viral shedding than the control group in the study.
It’s also possible that pritelivir could be used in combination with current drugs to deliver a powerful one-two punch to HSV.
Since current treatments only apply to active viruses, these latent viruses survive despite drug therapy. Their work also focuses on the herpes virus’ ability to reactivate and recur over time. If the technique works equally well for humans, this gene therapy will keep the virus from causing repeated herpes outbreaks. By inhibiting the body’s production of Akt, they were able to significantly reduce herpes infections in human cells exposed to the virus.
This vaccine also demonstrated positive reductions in viral shedding – in some cases shedding was reduced by as much as 50%.
There are, however, two vaccines in the very early stages of clinical trials that are aimed directly at preventing a herpes infection from ever taking hold in the body.
If successful, the altered virus will stimulate immune responses in the body that will prevent infection from active HSV. Research for the vaccine is being conducted by Coridon, an Australian biotech company working in conjunction with the University of Queensland.
Instead of introducing a weakened version of the herpes virus, this vaccine uses a small section of DNA to produce T-cells and stimulate the immune response. But those who are already dealing with a herpes infection understand the importance of living in the present.
Arginine seems to promote the formation of herpes sores, while lysine tends to prevent herpes breakouts and also helps to heal existing sores quickly. Just brew a cup of black tea, let the tea bag cool until you can touch it comfortably, and apply the tea bag directly to a herpes lesion.


Ginseng is known to have the ability to strengthen the immune response, which may make it helpful in fighting off the effects of an active herpes episode. Liquid extract of licorice root can be applied directly to herpes sores; you can also make a paste with powdered licorice root and almond oil. It reduces healing time dramatically, and can also lower the stress levels that incite herpes outbreaks. The Epsom salts ease the pain of inflamed tissues and dry out herpes sores, helping them to heal faster.
For best results, cover a cotton ball completely with baking soda, and apply it directly to the sore.
They differ in many ways, but the viruses share certain characteristics, notably the word "herpes," which is derived from a Greek word meaning "to creep." This refers to the unique characteristic pattern of all herpes viruses to "creep along" local nerve pathways to the nerve clusters at the end, where they remain in an inactive state for some indeterminate time. The risk for infection is highest with direct contact of blisters or sores during an outbreak. HSV-1 is the most prevalent form of herpes simplex virus, and infection is most likely to occur during preschool years. The virus sheds for a much shorter period of time (about 3 days) compared to in an initial outbreak of 3 weeks. There are some differences in frequency of recurrence depending on whether HSV-2 or HSV-1 causes genital herpes. A herpes infection may occur on the cheeks or in the nose, but facial herpes is very uncommon.
Oral herpes can be provoked within about 3 days of intense dental work, particularly root canal or tooth extraction.
The incidence in children varies among regions and countries, with the highest rates occurring in crowded and unsanitary regions.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 45 million Americans age 12 and over, about 1 in 5 teenagers and adults, are infected with HSV-2. However, herpes can also be transmitted when symptoms are not present (asymptomatic shedding). The baby is at greatest risk from an asymptomatic infection during a vaginal delivery in women who acquired the virus for the first time late in the pregnancy.
This increased risk is present if the woman is having or has recently had an active herpes outbreak in the genital area. If no lesions are present and cultures indicate no viral shedding, a vaginal delivery can be performed and the newborn is examined and cultured after delivery. Neonatal herpes can spread to the brain and central nervous system causing encephalitis and meningitis and leading to mental retardation, cerebral palsy, and death.
It can also occur in adult health care workers, such as dentists, because of increased exposure to the herpes virus. HSV-2 infection increases HIV levels in the genital tract, which makes it easier for the HIV virus to be spread to sexual partners. However, other conditions can resemble herpes, and doctors cannot base a herpes diagnosis on visual inspection alone. Patients diagnosed with genital herpes should also be tested for other sexually transmitted diseases. It is important for doctors to determine whether the genital herpes infection is caused by HSV-1 or HSV-2, as the type of herpes infection influences prognosis and treatment recommendations. PCR is much more expensive than viral cultures and is not FDA-approved for testing genital specimens.
Findings of specific giant cells with many nuclei or distinctive particles that carry the virus (called inclusion bodies) indicate herpes infection.
If a blood test detects antibodies to herpes, it’s evidence that you have been infected with the virus, even if the virus is in a non-active (dormant) state. PCR identifies HSV in cerebrospinal fluid and gives a rapid diagnosis of herpes encephalitis in most cases, eliminating the need for biopsies.
This ulcer is seen in an individual with AIDS and is located in front and just below the bottom teeth.
The infection may recur after treatment has been stopped and, even during therapy, a patient can still transmit the virus to another person. After initial infection, the viruses are transported along sensory nerves to the sensory nerve cell bodies, where they become latent and reside lifelong. Barrier protection methods are the most reliable method of preventing transmission of herpes, but they merely reduce rather than eliminate risk. That’s why many medical researchers consider the search for a herpes cure to be akin to the search for the Holy Grail. Rather than seeking to activate the latent herpes virus, however, this study seeks to keep it dormant and thereby eliminate the possibility of recurring infection.
And, like pritelivir, it will provide an alternative to drugs that viruses already tolerate.
Later, if the virus is re-introduced, production of those antibodies is stimulated and the body is able to stave off infection.
Patients in these studies experienced a 15% reduction in viral shedding while taking no additional antiviral medications. And for the present, there are two main approaches to managing the symptoms of HSV: medical treatment with prescription drugs like acyclovir, famciclovir, or valacyclovir, or with natural remedies. As a topical treatment for herpes lesions, propolis has proven to be a quick and effective healer. The recommended dosage is one-half to a full tablespoon three times daily during a herpes outbreak. There’s not a lot of evidence, however, that echinacea is effective when used as a herpes treatment.
HSV is one of the most difficult viruses to control and has plagued mankind for thousands of years.
While HSV-2 remains the main cause of genital herpes, in recent years the percentage of cases of genital herpes caused by HSV-1 has significantly increased because of of oral-genital sex.
Natural condoms made from animal skin do NOT protect against HSV infection because herpes viruses can pass through them. Possible ComplicationsThe severity of symptoms depends on where and how the virus enters the body. Fortunately, rapid diagnostic tests and treatment with acyclovir have both significantly improved survival rates and reduced complication rates.
Fortunately, herpes meningitis usually resolves without complications, lasting for up to a week, although recurrences have been reported.
Viral cultures are very accurate if lesions are still in the clear blister stage, but they do not work as well for older ulcerated sores, recurrent lesions, or latency.
The presence of antibodies to herpes also indicates that you are a carrier of the virus and might transmit it to others. Valacyclovir may work especially well for preventing herpes transmission among heterosexual patients when one partner has herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) and the other partner does not. Treatments with antivirals can reduce viral shedding and alleviate the severity of symptomatic episodes.
Bonus: black tea is a great source of caffeine, so enjoy a little pick-me-up by drinking the tea while treating a herpes sore with the tea bag.
In fact, HSV-1 is now responsible for up to half of all new cases of genital herpes in developed countries.
However, by the time Americans of all economic backgrounds reach age 60, about 60 - 85% have become infected with HSV-1.
Except for people in monogamous relationships with uninfected partners, everyone who is sexually active is at risk for genital herpes.
Nonoxynol-9 can cause irritation around the genital areas, which makes it easier for herpes and other STDs to be transmitted. Recurring herpes and a first infection that is acquired early in the pregnancy pose a much lower risk to the infant. At these stages the virus may not be active enough to reproduce sufficiently to produce a visible culture.
However, valacyclovir may not be as effective as acyclovir or famiciclovir for patients who have very frequent recurrences of herpes (more than 10 outbreaks per year).
The previously latent virus then multiplies new virus particles in the nerve cell and these are transported along the axon of each neuron to the nerve terminals in the skin, where they are released.
Early stages of orofacial herpes and genital herpes are harder to diagnose; laboratory testing is usually required.
It should not be confused with conditions caused by other viruses in the herpesviridaefamily such as herpes zoster, which is caused by varicella zoster virus. In fact, studies indicate that 10 - 25% of people infected with HSV-2 are unaware that they have genital herpes. The best chances for a favorable outcome occur in patients who are treated with acyclovir within 2 days of becoming ill.
The Tzanck test is not reliable for providing a conclusive diagnosis of herpes infection and is not recommended by the CDC. In addition, because herpes simplex virus 1 can be passed in saliva, people should also avoid sharing toothbrushes or eating utensils with an infected person.
Even if infected people have mild or no symptoms, they can still transmit the herpes virus.



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