Herpesvirus infections are one of the common sexually transmitted infections among people of all ages. It has been found that one in every six persons in the age group 14 to 49 is prone to the disease. This infection is caused by the herpes simplex virus. There are two types of herpesvirus, HSV-1 mainly causes lesions and blisters around the mouth and HSV 2 mainly causes lesions in the genital areas. After the first infection the virus travels to the nerve tissue and remain dormant for some time. Reactivation of the virus occurs when the immune system of the body weakens.
Causes of Genital Herpesvirus Infection
The herpesvirus enters the body through small and even microscopic cuts or tears in the skin, mucous membranes and in tissues. The infected person can spread the disease to another person even when they do not have any signs or symptoms of the disease. Avoiding sexual intercourse with the person having blisters of herpes does not prevent the chances of infection. The frequency of outbreaks of herpesvirus infection will depend on the efficiency of an individual’s immune system.
Transmission of Herpesvirus
Herpes simplex virus is transmitted from one person to another through intimate contact. Genital herpes are transmitted through sexual contact involving the genital organs or through mouth to genital contact with a person having herpes sores in the mouth. The fluids in the blisters or sores contain the virus and any type of contact with the fluid leads to infection. The chances of transmitting the disease from infected male to female partner is more compared to the transmission of the disease from a woman to a male.
Signs and Symptoms of Herpesvirus Infection
Many people infected with herpesvirus may not have any symptoms or have mild symptoms which are usually mistaken for other health conditions. The symptoms when expressed include
- Painful sores, blisters, rashes in the genital area, mouth or rectum
- Blisters break to form sores that will not heal for weeks
- Burning, itching or tingling sensation in the skin
- In women, lesions are seen on the vulva and may lead to inflammation of cervix
- Some individuals may have fever and body ache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Pain during urination when infection occurs in the urethra
The first outbreaks are usually more severe than the repeat outbreaks. The number of outbreaks reduces over time.
How Herpes Infection is Diagnosed?
Your doctor will be able to diagnose herpes by looking at the signs and symptoms. Viral cultures using the sample from the sore or blister also help to confirm the herpesvirus infection. It is not possible to completely cure the disease; however, it is possible to reduce the outbreaks by using appropriate medicines.
How to Prevent Herpesvirus Infection?
Preventing the disease is very difficult as most of the infected people may not have any visible symptoms.
- Since this infection is spread through intimate contact it is better to avoid vaginal, anal or oral sex with a person having active blisters.
- You can lower the chances of getting herpesvirus infection being in a monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested negative for STDs.
- Using condoms whenever you are having sex offers protection to a certain extent
- Avoid sharing clothing, razors, syringes, etc.
Risks Associated with Herpes Infection
Genital herpes infection can affect the overall health of the person and regular outbreaks can cause discomfort to the person and to the partner.
- In people with suppressed immune system the infection can be severe and painful
- When you touch the sores, the fluid will be transferred to other parts of the body, spreading the infection.
- If the person is pregnant the disease can affect the unborn child causing neonatal herpes which are deadly
- Genital herpes infection (read more: https://herpestreatmentsandcures.com/genital-herpes/ ) can cause miscarriage or early delivery
It is important that you consult a doctor if you notice any of the symptoms of herpesvirus infection, or if your partner has any symptoms of the disease or if you suspect that you have been exposed to virus by any other way. Get examined by a doctor if you see any unusual and painful sores, smelly discharge from genital organs, burning sensation while urinating or in the case of women bleeding between periods. These can be symptoms of STDs which require proper and prolonged treatment. If you are having regular herpesvirus outbreaks, the doctor may suggest antiviral medications or other suppressive therapy to reduce the occurrence of herpes outbreaks.