5 Facts About Herpes

If you or someone that you know has been diagnosed with herpes, reading the following 5 facts about herpes simplex and herpes zoster will give you a starting point. Although the mere mention of herpes is enough to cause concern, you'll want to start educating yourself on how to best cope. Learning about herpes is an important part of taking preventative measure in protecting not only yourself but also anyone you may become intimate with. The following facts about herpes are important nuggets of knowledge that everyone should know.

  1. What is herpes simplex? Herpes is a sexually transmitted virus that can cause outbreaks of sores on the genitals and mouth. There are many different forms of herpes that affect both humans and animals, but despite the various types of herpes most people generally only think about HSV-1 or HSV-2 (genital and oral herpes) when discussing this particular type of disease.
  2. How is it spread? Herpes Simplex is spread through contact with an active area. It is spread when an unprotected area comes into contact with the unprotected area of another person; genital to genital, oral to genital during an outbreak or just before an outbreak.
  3. How common is it? A statistical fact about herpes simplex is that one in five adults have genital herpes and most don't know that they are infected. Symptoms are usually so mild or are mistaken for something other than herpes. In the case of herpes zoster, according to the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, two in every ten people will be affected in their lifetime.
  4. What is Herpes Zoster? Herpes Zoster is commonly referred to as shingles. It is most common in persons over the age of 50 or in persons those who have immune systems weakened by chemotherapy, stress, HIV infection and transplant operations.
  5. You can't catch herpes from inanimate objects. A common question and concern about herpes is if it can be transmitted from one person to another by something as simple as sitting on a toilet seat after someone who has the virus. Although it is a frequently asked question and a justifiable concern, one cannot become infected in that manner.

Centers for Disease Control–Genital Herpes

National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease–Shingles

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