Herpes is spread by a virus. As such, there is no cure. People with herpes have to be careful not to spread it to their partners.
There are two forms of the herpes virus. One is the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). This is the virus that most often leads to oral herpes. This is a herpes infection that occurs in or around the mouth area.
Second is herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). This strain of the virus often leads to genital herpes. Lesions occur on or around the genitals.
It is not uncommon for both forms to give rise to both oral and genital herpes. Some people with herpes carry it for a long time and can even infect others because they are asymptomatic. The initial herpes outbreak may be thought to be something else or be ignored by the sufferer. Subsequent outbreaks may not occur for a long time so no more is thought about it.
The initial outbreak of herpes has some symptoms similar to the flu. You may have fever and chills and a general malaise. It is also possible to have headaches and swollen glands in the neck and throat.
For genital herpes there are additional symptoms that alert you to the fact that something may be wrong. The herpes virus produces sores on the infected area. When these sores break open, that is when you are most contagious to others. There is also complaint of symptoms like burning when urinating, itching, and pain at the site of infection.
The best way to detect herpes is to get a physical exam. Tell the doctor of your symptoms. He or she will do a thorough exam and blood work to determine if the herpes virus is present and which type it is. The sores are also swabbed and tested.
If you have herpes, it is important to get the facts about your condition. First, you’ll need to inform past partners of the diagnosis. They can get tests and treatment. Secondly, you’ll need to know how to take care of yourself.
Outbreaks can occur at any time. Medication can manage the symptoms and make outbreaks less frequent. There are other things that you can do at home as well. Pain relievers are helpful, and so is keeping the sores dry and cool until they heal up. It is easy to spread herpes to others and also to other areas of your body. Wash hands often when dealing with the sores.
Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that is easy to transmit to others. Prevent the spread of infection by taking care of yourself and abstaining from sex during those times.