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A Brief Look at Herpes and Its Impact on Health

While there are eight of these human based herpes viruses, two of them particularly stand out because of their frequency of occurrence in the population. The herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) are the two predominant ones that most people seem to get.

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Herpes is often viewed as a sexually transmitted disease and indeed that is true. Did you also know that there is a huge contingent of herpes viruses but only eight of them typically cause illness in humans? It's also disappointing to find out that herpes outbreaks can recur many times, depending on how your immune system is functioning. There are no cures for viruses right now.

Two Common Herpes Viruses

While there are eight of these human based herpes viruses, two of them particularly stand out because of their frequency of occurrence in the population. The herpes simplex type 1 virus (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) are the two predominant ones that most people seem to get.

These two herpes simplex viruses cause both oral herpes and genital herpes. Oral herpes arrives in the form of fever blisters or cold sores while genital herpes generally causes sores in the sensitive genital region. Both the herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 can infect both oral and genital regions.  However, for the most part, oral herpes is cause by type 1 of the virus while genital herpes is caused by type 2 of the virus.

Symptoms of Herpes

Herpes is transmitted by intimate contact, primarily sexual intercourse. However, it is possible to transmit it by kissing if you or someone else has open sores in their mouth or on their lips. It takes skin to skin contact for sure to spread this viral disease.

Symptoms can take up to a month to show once exposed to the virus. Some people have few symptoms while others get actual sores or lesions. The skin will first become sensitive and red in color and then the blisters appear at the site. The blisters eventually burst and ooze so it is important to clean these broken blisters promptly and do not pick unopened ones so as not to spread the infection to others or even to other parts of your body.

Hand Hygiene

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New skin growth forms once the blisters "pop" and drain. Most do not leave a scar. Swollen glands, muscle pain, fever, and other flu-type of symptoms may present themselves as well. Herpes in the genital area can be painful, especially in the urethra when you try to urinate. These blisters may itch and "throb" but do not try to scratch or pick at them. There is no need to share the wealth of infection with anyone else.

Treatment Options

There are no vaccinations or cures for the herpes virus, or any virus for that matter. However, some pharmaceutical companies have produced some drugs that can lessen the severity of outbreaks, especially for genital herpes. Former prescription drugs for recurring cold sores are now available over the counter.

Diet and nutrition can actually help with outbreaks of the herpes virus. Foods like fresh garlic have anti-viral properties which could combat the frequency of outbreaks. Choosing foods high in the lysine amino acid is also beneficial. A nutritionist is your best resource for an anti-herpes outbreak diet while your doctor can help you with anti-viral remedies.

If you suspect that you might have herpes, get checked out by a doctor. Also, practice safe sex with your partners to avoid contracting or spreading the virus. Just remember, skin to skin contact is the predominant way that herpes is spread.

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Avoid Infection By Maintaining a Healthy Home
Herpes and Its Impact on Health
Preventative Program for HIV and AIDS
RSV and How to Prevent this Disease
Infection Control in Hospital Settings
Prevent the Spread of Infection
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