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Genital herpes symptoms may vary from person to person; however, there are specific clinical signs that would be indicative of the disease. Genital herpes is a type of sexually transmitted disease that primarily affects both the male and female reproductive organs.

Usually, the first outbreak of symptoms would occur within 2 to 20 days after sexual contact with an infected partner. The symptoms would continue up to two weeks. However, these symptoms would usually go unnoticed since the signs may be mild and unnoticeable. The following are clinical signs to watch out for:

One important clinical sign to watch out for is the occurrence of visible sores on the affected area. The affected area may begin with swelling, tenderness, and redness then would progress to itching, sensitivity and inflammation. Eruptions of small fluid filled lesions known as blisters would then follow. Blisters can also be seen as tiny red bumps and the rash would resemble fissures especially near the anus area. However, when the rash becomes infected, ulcers would occur. Ulcers are skin breaks that have a clear to milky fluid discharge; this indicates that the wound is already infected than inflamed.

The herpes virus usually starts attacking skin cells, that is why the skin becomes inflamed and sensitive until blisters and ulceration happens. When the body triggers the body’s immune response in the healing stage, blisters and ulcerations gradually becomes dry and crusting may develop. This indicates the healing stage; however, this does not guarantee that the virus is eliminated. When new skin begins to form without scarring, then the viral replication has completed and the virus has left the surface of the skin. When this happens, the skin is already safe to touch while the virus becomes dormant.

Other symptoms to watch out for include general fatigue and body weakness. The person would complain of flu like symptoms which would be indicative of a viral infection. Fever is also possible with the swelling of lymph glands found at the neck area. There would be headache, muscle ache, and vaginal and penile discharges. However, when herpes is left untreated, the infection would ascend to internal organs. A burning sensation upon urination would mean that the virus has ascended to the urethral area. Lower back pain would mean that the virus has ascended to the kidneys. Thus, one should not overlook signs and symptoms because herpes can sometimes be fatal.

A keen eye at assessing sores and identifying symptoms are vital to carefully evaluate if they are really genital herpes symptoms. With due medical attention, herpes is treatable with anti-viral medications. However, assessment of symptoms is still the key.


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