A person can become infected with herpes simplex virus – type 2 the instant the virus gets into the body. Also commonly referred to as genital herpes, HSV-2 is commonly transmitted from one person to the other through sexual intercourse. Then again, it is also important to point out that the virus can be transmitted from one person to the other through kissing, physical contact and sharing of personal effects. Unfortunately, genital herpes has no cure. The medications available in the market are only used to manage the symptoms. After the symptoms have cleared, the virus then goes into dormant state. It can be reactivated when the immune system is compromise. According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), most people do not even know that they have the disease since the symptoms are not visible. This in turn has led to increased infection rates.
Also commonly referred to as primary outbreak, first-time outbreak refers to the period one experiences symptoms after coming into contact with the virus. The first outbreak takes between 4 and 14 days to manifest. But as pointed out earlier, up to 60% of those who infected by the virus for the first time do not notice the signs and symptoms.
The whole body is usually affected and as such the person may feel as if they are suffering from flu. In genital herpes, the blisters and sores usually appear around the genital area (i.e. penis and vagina). However, the virus can also appear around the thighs and buttocks. The signs and symptoms displayed by persons suffering from oral herpes (i.e. herpes simplex virus – type 1) are more or less the same as genital herpes. The only difference is that the sores and blisters appear around the mouth and lips.
The blisters usually break after 3-7 days. The result is a painful and oozing sore. The sores may take up to three weeks to completely heal without applying any form of medication. Moreover, the sores will not leave scars in the area. However, the healing period can be shortened by taking supportive medications. It is important that persons with these signs and symptoms to seek treatment as there are people, especially women who take too long to heal from the blisters and sores.
Recurrent outbreaks may occur months or years after the initial outbreak. As pointed out earlier, the medications used are only utilized to manage the symptoms and not the actual virus. As such, the virus remains in a dormant state in the nerve cells close to the original infection. During the period herpes is dormant, one will not be able to experience the signs and symptoms associated with herpes simplex virus.
However, the virus may be activated from time to time by a myriad of factors ranging from medications to ailments that affect the immune system. When the virus is activated, it moves from the nerve cells to the skin region where it triggers the signs and symptoms. The good news is that that sores and blisters from the second outbreak are quite mild and as such tend to heal fast. The key reason for this is because the body has developed enough antibodies. Having been exposed to the disease before, it can now fight the disease much faster and efficiently compared to the first time.
According to the CDC, the following are some of the factors that can lead to recurrence: Emotional and physical stress, new sexual partners, medications, fatigue, ailments, physical injury in the genital area and menstruation. If you have suffered from the ailment, it is critical that you take care of your body and try as much as possible to avoid risk factors.
Who Are At Risk?
Listed below are some of the people who are most likely to suffer from either HSV-1 or HSV-2:
· People who have multiple sexual partners.
· People who engage in sexual activities before the age of 18.
· People who have impaired immune system.