Informative Articles and Independent, Unbiased Product Reports On Various Herpes Remedies

What Is Herpes?

Herpes has been around for over a thousand years. In fact the earliest mention of this disease goes back to the time of Roman Emperor Tiberius where he reportedly banned kissing in Rome after an outbreak of cold sores. Early recorded writings of Herpes can also be traced even in popular literature like Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, where it briefly mentions the said disease.  However, it wasn’t until the 1940’s that Herpes was finally identified as a virus.

Herpes is a Viral Disease

Herpes is a viral disease caused by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). Oral herpes usually referred to as cold sores or fever blisters is the most common manifestation of the virus. Genital herpes, or just herpes, is the second most common form of infection.  Some forms of Herpes can be deadly such as Encephalitis and Mollaret’s meningitis which affect the brain.

Herpes infections follow a cycle of activity and remission. Once a person is infected with herpes its symptoms will manifest within 2 to 21 days of contact. After treatment, the victim undergoes remission wherein the sores, blisters and other symptoms disappear. After infection, the virus moves to the sensory nerves where they reside as lifelong latent viruses. The reasons why the virus recurs is still a mystery but there are some triggers that cause the virus to become active. Over time, there is a risk that the frequency and severity of infection will increase.

Herpes is transferred through direct contact with an active lesion or fluid transfer from an infected person. Direct skin to skin contact with an infected person will most likely result in an outbreak. This is why cold sores and genital herpes are some of the most common forms of sexually transmitted disease or STD.

Most people who are infected with the virus do not know that they are carriers. The first outbreak usually occurs 2 weeks after contact and the sores will heal within two to four weeks. The most common herpes symptoms aside from the sores are flu-like symptoms and swollen glands. However, most people with the HSV-2 virus have very mild symptoms and may not notice that they are already infected. They often mistake the sores as mosquito bites or a skin disease.

In the United States a nationwide survey showed that 16.2% of population between the ages of 14-49 has genital HSV-2 infection. This means that one in every 6 person from the age group has genital herpes.

Controlling the Spread of Herpes

To prevent the spread of the disease, treatments and other options that are available to keep it in check must be exhausted.

One of the most common complications of herpes aside from the sores is psychological depression. Regardless of how severe the outbreak is, people with herpes go through emotional trauma and distress. In addition, women who are pregnant should avoid contact with this sort of infection as there is the risk that she can pass off the virus to her baby during delivery.

Genital herpes can be easily avoided by using condoms during sexual intercourse. Other forms of contact like kissing should also be avoided as the virus can be present in the sores which can be transmitted even during kissing via small cuts or wounds in the mouth.

Diagnosing herpes is usually done via visual inspection. Blood tests are also used to test for antibodies for HSV-1 and HSV-2. Samples and cultures of the sores can also be taken for laboratory testing.

The herpes virus can be controlled using anti-viral medication such as Acyclovir. These can shorten and prevent outbreaks during the period that the patient is taking medication. Topical treatment like creams can also be applied to help manage the sores and lesions on the skin.

Speed is an important factor when it comes to diagnosing and treating herpes. If you suspect that you have been infected with herpes, seek the assistance of a medical professional at once.