The 5 things you should know about herpes simplex will serve to both educate and protect you. Because of its varying strains and symptoms, herpes simplex is an oft-misunderstood disease. Unfortunately, people end up misdiagnosing and even mistreating themselves as a result. You can avoid this with the following must-know facts about herpes simplex.
There are two forms of herpes simplex. The first form, medically termed Type 1, generally causes small fluid-filled blisters on the face. Contrary to popular belief, this form is not generally caught through sexual transmission. In fact, most people are exposed to herpes simplex Type 1 during their childhood. The first series of sores you get after contracting the virus is called a primary infection. For the ten percent of people who end up developing sores, the first outbreak will generally appear about two weeks after exposure. It is usually worse than the periodic outbreaks that occur afterward, called recurring infections.
The second form of herpes simplex is sexually transmitted. As you could probably have guessed, this form is called Type 2 in the medical community. It has the same symptoms as Type 1 except the blisters occur in the genital area. Obviously, it is spread through sexual intercourse and is accompanied by occasional outbreaks that can range anywhere from infrequent to quite often.
Herpes simplex Type 2 can be spread even between outbreaks. A common myth concerning herpes simplex is that if there are no visible sores, you are much less likely to transmit the disease. Medical data has proven otherwise. In fact, over 80 percent of all herpes simplex virus Type 2 transmissions occur when there are no sores present. Condoms, however, are relatively effective in reducing the risk of virus transmission.
There are occasions in which herpes simplex can be very dangerous. An outbreak that occurs in your eyes, for instance, can lead to scarring of the cornea and other eye tissue without prompt medical help. For those who have chronic illnesses, such as cancer or AIDS, herpes simplex can actually be life threatening.
There is still no cure for either type of herpes simplex, but the symptoms are manageable. With the use of prescription medication, outbreaks can be decreased both in frequency and severity. Though they won’t stop you from transmitting the disease, they can help to make herpes much less of a danger and annoyance.