A Look at the Symptoms of the Herpes Virus

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First things first, the symptoms of the herpes virus may vary quite a bit from one infected person to another. There also seem to be a number of factors that affect the symptoms you experience while being infected with herpes.

Usually, one of the most important factors turns out to be whether it’s your first outbreak or a recurrent one. The first outbreak is usually the worst, while the ones that follow are considerably less severe. However, it’s also to be noted that most people with herpes do not experience any symptoms at all. Hence, it’s believed that about 10 – 25% of people infected with the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) aren’t even aware of it.

Also, in many cases, the symptoms are very mild, and can easily be mistaken for another health condition. However, the fact is still that even in the absence of symptoms or while experiencing only mild symptoms, people infected with herpes may still end up transmitting the virus to others around them.

Symptoms While Dealing with Genital Herpes

For patients who do experience symptoms, the first outbreak is usually in around 1 – 2 weeks of getting exposed to the virus. It first starts with just a tingling sensation in or around the genital area, which quickly develops into small red bumps and further into blisters. More blisters appear over the next 2 – 3 weeks, eventually bursting out into painful open sores.

The lesions dry out soon though, without leaving any scars. However, if the lesions have developed in moist areas, it may take longer to heal. Also, while even the lesions may feel itchy, the feeling will get milder as they heal.

There are also some other considerably common symptoms of herpes, including flu-like discomfort, fever, swollen glands, headache, muscle aches and more. Some patients also experience difficulty in urinating, while some women with herpes experience vaginal discharge.

Recurrent Outbreaks

As mentioned earlier, the recurrent outbreaks are usually considerably milder than the initial outbreak. The duration, too, is significantly shorter, lasting just around 3 days compared to around 3 weeks the initial outbreak may last for. Similarly, the symptoms are less severe as well, with many women just having minor itching, and men having even milder symptoms. This may, however, not turn out to be the case for everyone though.

Also, as far as the average is concerned when it comes to recurrent outbreaks, it seems to be around four outbreaks a year. However, it varies quite a bit from one infected person to another.

Similarly, it’s also believed that the recurrent outbreaks, too, get considerably less frequent with time. However, it also depends on which one of the two common herpes viruses has caused the infection. Generally, the HSV-2 is known for causing more recurrent outbreaks than the HSV-1.

Symptoms While Dealing with Oral Herpes

Oral herpes, sometimes also known as herpes labialis, is usually caused by HSV-1, though even HSV-2 is responsible in some cases. When infected with oral herpes, the symptoms appear on the lips as well as the mucous membranes in the mouth. They may also develop on the cheeks or even in the nose, but it’s not very common.

The symptoms may be very painful during the initial stage, especially when it comes to children. Here’s a little overview of how the process may turn out to be.

  • While the blisters usually tend to develop on the lips, they may also end up erupting on the tongue
  • Similarly, the blisters may even burst out into open sores, which can be very painful, and take as much as 3 – 14 days to heal
  • The patient may also experience increased saliva and foul breath
  • Some of the uncommon symptoms also include muscle pain, chills, difficulty in swallowing and even hearing loss to a certain extent

While children tend to experience the symptoms in the mouth, in adolescents, they usually develop in the upper part of their throat, resulting in a sore throat.

Recurrent Symptoms

First things first, most people with oral herpes who deal with recurrent symptoms usually only have a couple of outbreaks a year. In some people, however, they may be more frequent. People infected with HSV-2 tend to have lesser recurrent symptoms than the ones infected with HSV-1.

Another important thing to note here is that the recurrent symptoms may usually be considerably milder than the initial ones, and are referred to as fever blisters or cold sores.

Usually, the cold sores appear on the edge of the patient’s lips, and in some rare cases, also end up affecting the throat or gums. They can also actually be mistaken for another different type of lesions that have nothing to do with herpes.

The Recurrence Course of the Virus

Most people with herpes have to deal with recurrent outbreaks. The frequency (and also the severity) of the outbreaks may depend on the infected area as well as the type of herpes virus you’re dealing with.

The following is a detailed overview of the recurrent course the herpes virus tends to take:

Prodrome: Before the outbreak occurs, you’re likely to go through the prodrome stage. You would experience some of the symptoms such as a tingling feeling or itching, or even pain in the infected area. Similarly, while not as common, you may also come across other symptoms such as the ones common while dealing with flu, as well as headache and enlargement of lymph glands. As far as the duration is concerned, this stage may last for just a couple of hours to a couple of days.

Outbreak: When it comes to recurrent outbreaks, you may end up dealing with pretty much the same symptoms at the same infected area as you did during the initial one, but they tend to be considerably milder and heal more quickly. To be a little specific, they may go away in 3 – 10 days. Similarly, there’s also a possibility that the symptoms may even turn out to be much different from what you experienced during your primary outbreak, which may seem like just general inflammation or even as skin fissures.

Treatment: Doctors are still working researching to find 100% cure for this virus, But Dr christine Buehler claiming she has found the cure for HSV-1 and HSV-2 and she revealed it in her HSV eraser E-book.

Brief Introduction About Herpes Virus

Herpes is inarguably one of the most common medical conditions in many parts of the world, especially including the United States. If the statistics are to be believed, as many as over 50 million people are infected with herpes in the US alone. It translates to one in every 5 people in the country being infected with herpes.

These numbers are obviously worrying and disturbing, especially given that the condition isn’t believed to be having a “known” cure. And while it’s not life threatening in most cases, it can definitely turn out to be very challenging to deal with.

Introduction to Herpes

The Herpes Viruses

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) causes herpes. There are two types of herpes viruses – the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and the herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2).

They usually infect the skin and the mucous membranes, but it’s not at all uncommon for them to also attack the other parts of the body. Herpes is believed to be one of the most difficult conditions to deal with, and has been plaguing mankind for a very, very long time.

While the viruses we mentioned above are the two most common herpes viruses causing herpes, there are actually many more of them that result in different medial conditions. In fact, it’s believed that there are as many as 80 more different types of herpes viruses, and they all have something different about them, though they also share some common characteristics.

Coming to the meaning of the term “herpes”, it’s a Greek word that means “to creep”. The reason the herpes viruses have been given this name is because of a common characteristic they share, which is to “creep along” the local nerve pathways. They eventually end up transporting themselves to the nerve clusters, where they may remain inactive for different periods of time.

Coming back to the two main viruses responsible for causing herpes, the HSV-1 and HSV-2, they both, as well as all the other herpes viruses, can attack different people, or even the same individual.

Though the general belief, until very recently, was that the HSV-1 only infects the oral cavity or mouth (known as oral herpes), and the HSV-2 is only responsible for infecting the genital area (genital herpes), apparently, some recent studies have revealed that that both can infect both the areas, as well as even many other parts of the body.

In fact, some statistics have even revealed that it’s the HSV-1 (traditionally considered to be responsible for only oral herpes) that’s responsible for around half of all the cases of genital herpes in developed countries.

Chronic Condition

Herpes is chronic in nature. In medical terms, chronic refers to long-term. The reason herpes is believed to be chronic is because as there’s no known cure, and it doesn’t go away by itself, it may continue to live in the infected person’s body for their whole life.

Similarly, another important thing to note here is that many who are infected with herpes don’t even experience any symptoms. This is probably one of the biggest reasons that as many as 85% of the people infected with herpes aren’t even aware of it.

On the other hand, some fall prey to recurrent outbreaks right from when they get herpes. This means that they experience outbreaks and symptoms very frequently. However, the symptoms are believed to get less frequent and less severe with time.

Highly Contagious

Another important thing to know about the herpes virus is that it’s highly contagious. It can be transmitted to other, non-infected people very easily.

This is because even just direct, close contact may lead to spreading of the herpes virus. However, the most common mode of transmission of the herpes virus is believed to be anal, oral and genital sex. Also, when a person gets infected with the herpes virus, it may first stay dormant for a period of time.

As far as the symptoms are concerned, as hinted earlier, they can vary quite a bit from one infected person to another. While some may have very mild symptoms, some others may not experience any symptoms at all. Similarly, some of the common symptoms of herpes can also be easily mistaken for some other medical condition. This is probably why it can get quite challenging to diagnose herpes, and the reason so many infected people aren’t even aware of it.

An Overview of the Transmission Process

For the herpes virus to make its way from an infected person’s body to a non-infected person, the conditions being mentioned below need to apply:

  • The herpes virus transmits itself through bodily fluids such as saliva, semen as well as other fluids (such as the one in female genital tract or from the sores caused by the herpes virus)
  •  The way the virus infected a non-infected person is through skin injuries and mucous membranes (such as the oral and genital area)

The Infection Process

Once the herpes virus makes its way to a non-infected person’s body, the infection process that usually follows is mentioned below.

  • It first enters the lower layer of the skin, usually targeting the vulnerable cells
  • It then tries to reproduce in the cell nuclei.
  • Usually, even when the virus has settled down in the cells, it may not trigger any symptoms
  • However, if it manages to destroy the host cells while reproducing, symptoms such as inflammation and blisters or ulcers start showing up. Similarly, they also go away after a varying period of time without leaving any scars.
  • It’s also known to move through the nerve cells to the ends of the nerve cells, where it tends to stay in an inactive state, with both the virus and the host cells surviving.
  • After an unpredictable period of time, it starts reproducing again. It’s during this time that it’s believed to go through a process known as shedding. During this process, it infects other non-infected people who come in contact with the infected person. However, as shedding may not trigger any symptoms at all a third to half of the time, it may get difficult to prevent the virus from spreading to others.
  • Finally, after this process, it again starts triggering new outbreaks and symptoms.

Herpes Infection By Christine Buehler

A genital herpes infection is one of the more disruptive forms of herpes, though there are others to be aware of. The virus also causes oral herpes which infects the lips. Another sign of a herpes infection