Herpes is an infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) that mainly affects the genitals or mouth, apart from other parts of the body.
HSV is of two types, HSV-1 and HS-2. HSV-1 causes oral herpes, whereas HSV-2 is responsible for genital herpes. HSV is contagious and can pass on to other people through direct contact. Children may develop HSV-1 from getting an early contact with an infected adult. HSV-1 also causes genital herpes from oral sex.
HSV-2 gets transmitted through sexual contact with an infected person. General interaction, such as, eating in the same plate, sharing lip balm and other similar products, and kissing also cause HSV-1 infection. HSV infects anyone irrespective of their age.
The risk of developing an infection depends upon the exposure to HSV. Unprotected sex with multiple partners, intercourse at a young age, having other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and a weak immune system are some of the risk factors for HSV-2.
A genital herpes outbreak in women during childbirth can expose the baby to HSV-1 and HSV-2 both.
The symptoms associated with HSV include blisters and sores (mouth or genitals), pain while urinating, itching, fever, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, feeling lethargic and loss of appetite.
Prevention And Treatment:
Individuals without visible sores or signs can still be infected with HSV and can transmit it to others. Herpes is a non-curable condition and the treatment focusses on limiting outbreak and controlling symptoms.
Medications like acyclovir, famciclovir, valacyclovir help the infected persons mitigate the risk of transmitting the virus to others.