Herpes - What Is It?

Sep 14 07:46 2007 Zinn Jeremiah Print This Article

An overview of herpes.

A reference to herpes is typically a reference to a genital herpes infection. Though there are different variations of the herpes virus,Guest Posting the far and away most common form is herpes simplex. Herpes simplex, HSV for short, comes in two strains: herpes simplex 1 and 2.

Oral herpes is typically caused by herpes simplex 1, though herpes simplex 1 can, on rare occasion, cause a case of genital herpes. Genital herpes is typically caused by herpes simplex 2, though herpes simplex 2 can also, rarely, cause oral herpes.

Herpes is an extremely typical virus, quite possibly the most common virus form beyond the virus that causes the common cold. It's believed that eighty to ninety percent of all adults are infected with herpes simplex 1. Herpes simplex 2 is significantly less frequent, but still fairly common with an infection rate of roughly twenty percent of all adults.

Not all cases of herpes are symptomatic. In herpes simplex 2 cases, up to ninety percent of infected persons aren't aware of their status because symptoms either are not present or are not unique enough to be recognized. When a herpes infection does present symptoms, the symptoms are typically an outbreak of blisters, or lesions.

Herpes is a transmittable condition, especially during a symptom outbreak. It was once believed that herpes transmission could only happen if a symptoms outbreak were occurring, but evidence now demonstrates that the herpes virus can be on the skin surface, and thus can be transmitted, even when no visible signs of an outbreak are present. The presence of herpes virus at the surface of the skin without symptoms being present is known as asymptomatic shedding.

When herpes is transmitted, the path to infection is skin-to-skin contact. Intimate skin-to-skin contact is the way that herpes is spread. Secondary objects, such as a toilet seat or some other public resource, are not means for passing a herpes infection. Herpes is transmitted when people have intimate physical contact, usually while an outbreak is ongoing.

Herpes infections can absolutely be a nuisance and can be physically uncomfortable as well, but a herpes infection is not considered a serious health threat. A person's general health state is not compromised from a herpes infection. The only possible exceptions to this are herpes infections in infants -- typically infants become infected with herpes from a genital herpes infected mother -- and herpes infections in persons with seriously compromised immune systems.

A trait of any case of herpes is symptom consistency. Symptoms of herpes, when they appear, remain in the region where infection took place and do not move about the body.

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Zinn Jeremiah
Zinn Jeremiah

Zinn Jeremiah is a freelance writer. To get more information about herpes, visit herpes or genital herpes.

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