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19.04.2014

Herpes duration contagious, natural remedies for herpes outbreak - For Begninners

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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. 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.
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).
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. The following are examples of people who are at particularly risk for specific forms of herpes. 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..
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.
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. According to the CDC, up to 50% of first-episode cases of genital herpes are now caused by herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). 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).
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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). 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. 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. 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.


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. HSV-1 is the most prevalent form of herpes simplex virus, and infection is most likely to occur during preschool years. 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. However, herpes can also be transmitted when symptoms are not present (asymptomatic shedding). This increased risk is present if the woman is having or has recently had an active herpes outbreak in the genital area. 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. 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. 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. 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. Fortunately, herpes meningitis usually resolves without complications, lasting for up to a week, although recurrences have been reported.
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.
In fact, HSV-1 is now responsible for up to half of all new cases of genital herpes in developed countries. 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. 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). In fact, studies indicate that 10 - 25% of people infected with HSV-2 are unaware that they have genital herpes. 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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