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HERPES INFECTION

 

Herpes infection is a painful and problematic condition that can be sexually transmitted. This infection is basically caused because of two kinds of herpes virus. The type 1 herpes virus is mostly associated with some facial infections including fever blisters and cold sores. The type 2 virus mainly results in genital herpes.

In this herpes infection both the types of viruses basically remain in a dormant or a latent stage within the nerves that are responsible for supplying sensation to a person’s skin. With an attack of this infection, growth of the virus down the nerves takes place and it then grows in the mucous membranes and multiplies there. This causes clinical lesions and after every attack it goes back to the nerve fibers and rests there.

The herpes infection can be passed to people not only in the form of an active infection but passing of the infection can also occur when there are no symptoms. This virus is shed through the genital and saliva secretion and spreading of the infection occurs when someone comes in direct contact with these infected secretions. Infections occurring with the type 2 virus are more severe as against those occurring with the type 1 virus.


The most common manifestation of the type 1 virus in the herpetic gingivostomatitis or mouth infection in which the symptoms are seen to start with fever followed by increased dribbling and high restlessness. The breath may become rather foul and eating and drinking may become painful. The patient’s gums may become red and swollen and may even bleed easily. Inflammation of local lymph glands may occur and small blisters may also develop on a person’s tongue, palate, and throat along with the inside part of the cheeks.

The type 2 form of herpes infection causes genital herpes and is seen to occur when sexual activity occurs. Ulceration on the penis in the region of foreskin, shaft and the glans areas are observed in most cases. These sores and ulcers are rather painful and they can last for around 2 to 3 weeks in the absence of proper treatment.

Among women such lesions occur in the external regions of the genitals such as the vagina, vulva and cervix. Pain and problems in passing of the urine is quite commonly observed in women. The second type of virus results in frequent recurrences of infections as compared to the type one virus. The recurrences in these cases may be triggered because of some minor trauma in the affected region, emotional stress, hormonal factors, operations that may be performed in the facial regions and exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Recurrences of the herpes infection particularly the first type of virus is seen to occur mostly on the face though other sites may also be involved. The recurrence of lesions and ulcers because of type 2 virus may occur on the buttocks or the genitals.

Treatment of herpes infection includes taking some antiviral agents such as valaciclovir, famciclovir and acyclovir. Likewise it is important for patients to eat a balanced diet and follow a moderate exercise plan. Sun exposure should be avoided and sun protection along with protective clothing should also be used.



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