- HSV, which is an abbreviation for Herpes Simplex Viruses, and commonly referred to as herpes, finds itself in two (2) categories, namely Herpes Type 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Type 2 (HSV-2). (HSV-1). This infection is known as oral herpes which is responsible for fever blisters and cold sores around the mouth and on the infected person’s face. (HSV-2). This type of infection causes a genital herpes outbreak on its victim which spreads around the infected area.
- Causes and Transmission of Herpes Simplex Viruses
- Kissing. HSV-1 can be contracted through kissing an infected person. This is as a result of the oral secretion which inevitably transmits from one mouth to the other.
- Sharing of eating utensils. People who share eating utensils have a very high tendency of infecting one another with the virus. This happens to be a major means of its transmission.
- Sharing of toothbrushes. This is also another cause of herpes simplex virus because secretions from the mouth of an infected person could conveniently be harbored on the toothbrush thereby infecting the new user with the virus.
- Sexual intercourse. This mode of transmission only transmits Herpes Type 2 when a person infected has intercourse with an uninfected person. It is important to note that sores are not the only proof of HSV-2 presence. Evidence abounds that a person might be positive with the infection without showing any of the symptoms. For this, and associated reasons, medical attention should be sought immediately a woman becomes pregnant after sexual intercourse with an infected person. This is crucial because the virus could be passed during childbirth to the baby. The Herpes Simplex Virus can affect anyone; it doesn’t concentrate on any class of persons in terms of race, age, or region of habitat. By implication, anyone who exposes him or herself to it would be infected.
Some of the factors responsible for the seemingly universal nature of herpes include:
- Having unprotected sexual intercourse with an infected person.
- Keeping multiple sexual partners.
- Presence of other sexually transmitted infections.
- Living with a weak immune system.
The Symptoms of Herpes Simplex Virus
It is worthy of note that a person might be infected with the virus but experience no symptoms. However, the signs associated with HSV 1 and 2 include:
- Pain during urination which is as a result of genital herpes (HSV-2).
- Fever and headaches which may be similar to flu.
- Loss of appetite.
- Blistering sores in the mouth (HSV-1), genitals, or affected areas as the case may be.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
The Similarities between HSV 1 and HSV 2
- Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 affect the body mucous membranes which are the ears, eyes, genitals, mouth, and nose. The virus, therefore, remains dormant in the infected person’s system in both circumstances.
- HSV-1 and HSV-2 also spread from an infected to an uninfected person even though the symptoms are not prominent. It, however, makes it very difficult in both circumstances to differentiate the strain of virus one has between the physical symptoms experienced.
- Replication of viruses is also a quality that both HSV-1 and HSV-2 posses as they travel through the nerve pathways of the body to the skin surface when the viruses become reactivated due to physical stimuli. Differences between HSV-1 and HSV-2.
- A primary difference between them is the location of the viruses in the body, where the viruses practically establish latency. While HSV-1 usually remains in the nerve cells near the neck and spring up viral shedding in the mouth or face, HSV-2 establishes this latency in the human nerve cells close to the spine base and recurring in the genital area.
- Another difference is the risk attached to the viruses and implication to the body. HSV-1 is believed and said to be riskier than HSV-2. This is as a result of the experience with HSV-1 which leaves cold sores on the infected person’s lips and face with the tendency of blindness, subsequently. HSV-2, however, does not pose such kinds of threat to one’s health.
Treatment of Herpes Simplex Virus
HSV has no cure but various treatments can be applied to relieve the symptoms being experienced. These medications are used to mitigate the pains associated with the virus and also to regulate the outbreak in order to shorten the healing time. It is advisable to visit a medical personnel after noticing the symptoms.
Some drugs like Valtrex, Famvir, or Zovirax might be prescribed alongside warm baths in the recommendation.