About 16 percent of Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 are infected with genital herpes, making it one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. More than 80% of those infected are unaware of their infection. Annually, 776,000 people in the United States get new herpes infections.
The first indications that chickenpox and shingles were caused by the same virus were noticed at the beginning of the 20th century. Physicians began to report that cases of shingles were often followed by chickenpox in the younger people who lived with the person with shingles. The idea of an association between the two diseases gained strength when it was shown that lymph from a person with shingles could induce chickenpox in young volunteers. This was finally proved by the first isolation of the virus in cell cultures, by the Nobel laureate Thomas Huckle Weller, in 1953.
Some people experience very mild genital herpes symptoms or no symptoms at all. Frequently, people infected with the virus don’t even know they have it. However, when it causes symptoms, it can be described as extremely painful. This is especially true for the first outbreak, which is often the worst. Outbreaks are described as aches or pains in or around the genital area or burning, pain, or difficulty urinating. Some people experience discharge from the vagina or penis.
^ Jump up to: a b c Gagliardi, AM; Andriolo, BN; Torloni, MR; Soares, BG (3 March 2016). “Vaccines for preventing herpes zoster in older adults”. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 3: CD008858. PMID 26937872. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016.
Once the viruses are inside your body, they incorporate themselves into your cells and then stay in the nerve cells of your pelvis. Viruses tend to multiply or adapt to their environments very easily, which makes treating them difficult.
In the group that reported seeing symptoms of genital HSV, the virus was detected on 20 percent of days, researcher Anna Wald of the University of Washington told reporters as she presented the findings.
If a pregnant woman with genital herpes has an active infection during childbirth, the newborn baby is at risk for getting it. To prevent this, she may have a C-section to avoid passing the infection to the baby. Herpes infection in a newborn can cause meningitis (an inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord), seizures, and brain damage.
Infection with the herpes simplex virus, commonly known as herpes, can be due to either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral to oral contact to cause infection in or around the mouth (oral herpes). HSV-2 is almost exclusively sexually transmitted, causing infection in the genital or anal area (genital herpes). However, HSV-1 can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes.
Genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus (one of the most common viruses in mankind) and in most cases causes very mild symptoms or none at all. Even when the symptoms are more severe, they are simple to treat and can usually be very well controlled.
At best, drugs can shorten the outbreaks and make them less severe. Left untreated, genital herpes can be passed on during birth, leading to blindness in the newborn (it is one of the leading causes of blindness in newborns). As a result it’s preferable to have a C-section if you’re infected.
It is important to avoid getting herpes during pregnancy. If your partner has herpes and you do not have it, be sure to use condoms during sexual intercourse at all times. Your partner could pass the infection to you even if he is not currently experiencing an outbreak. If there are visible sores, avoid having sex completely until the sores have healed.
No drug can get rid of the herpes virus. Doctors may prescribe an antiviral, such as acyclovir, which prevents the virus from multiplying. Antiviral medications will help the outbreak clear up faster and will also help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Genital Herpes is also caused by the herpes simplex virus, is estimated to be present in 20 percent, over 50 million people, and the majority of these cases may be unaware they even have it. Studies show that more than 500,000 Americans are diagnosed with genital herpes each year, and the largest increase is occurring in young teens. Genital herpes is an STD (Sexually Transmitted Disease) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Although, most genital herpes is caused by the herpes type 2 virus (HSV-2). Read More
The incidence of active genital herpes is difficult to determine precisely because many cases present mild symptoms, are self-limiting, and are not called to the attention of health care personnel. However, it is clear that the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. It is highly contagious and is transmitted by direct person-to-person contact (not limited to sexual contact). Autoinoculation via the hands is possible; for example, from a lip ulcer to the genital area or from the lip or genitals to the eye. Once the virus gains access to the body it enters the nervous system and invades nerve cells located near the site of infection, such as in the sacral ganglia. The virus lies dormant in nerve cells and can remain there indefinitely, predisposing the person to recurrent outbreaks. Factors contributing to recurrent genital herpes are not well understood. Some infected persons experience no recurrences while others have frequent and severe outbreaks. Many patients are aware of a correlation between the appearance of lesions and precipitating factors such as exposure to sunlight, local trauma, fever, or emotional stress. Hormonal changes preceding menses have been associated with recurrences in women.
Most cases of genital herpes are caused by a virus called HSV-2. It’s highly contagious and can spread through intercourse or direct contact with a herpes sore. As with HSV-1, there is no cure. But antiviral drugs can make outbreaks less frequent and help clear up symptoms more quickly.
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