What comes to your mind when the word ‘herpes’ comes up? To most people here is just another sexually transmitted disease. But there a lot more information than that and you need to find them out if you hope to live a healthy lifestyle.
So, what do you need to know about herpes? I’ll break down the disease in the most basic way for you to comprehend and stress out the main points about herpes that’ll help you lead a healthy life. Let’s find them out!
1. What is herpes?
Herpes is simply a viral infection, caused by the herpes simplex virus. It is characterized by painful watery blisters on different parts of the skin.
2. Types of herpes
There many types of herpes based on where the infection is. Oral herpes, is characterized by blisters in the mouth. Genital herpes often simply known as herpes, has symptoms in the genitals. Others are neonatal herpes, (that happens to newborns), herpetic whitlow (that shows in the fingers) and herpes of the brain.
It is worthy to note that there are 2 types of herpes simplex virus. Type 1 (HSV-1) and Type 2 (HSV-2).  HSV-1 more commonly causes oral infections while HSV-2 more commonly causes genital infections.
3. How does one get herpes?
There are transmitted through direct contact with body fluids of an infected person. Even if the infected person hasn’t developed any symptoms.
Genial herpes can be transmitted sexual actions, and it is also passed from mother to infant.
4. What are the common symptoms of herpes?
Apart from the blisters in the face, mouth and genitals. There are also infections that affect the eye and brain. There are also atypical symptoms which include things like nerve pain, achy muscles, itching, and tingling.
Most individuals infected with HSV-2 display no physical symptoms.
5. Two thirds of the people on earth have herpes
Yes, according to WHO, approximately 3.7 billion people have herpes and what’s more? most of them have no idea about it. Partly because it is asymptomatic.
6. How can herpes be prevented?
Using protection while having sex with your partner can help prevent the spread of herpes virus. Female condoms will provide greater protection than the male condom, because it covers the labia.
Using antivirals like tenofovir, anti-HIV drug was reported to reduce herpes virus sexual transmission by half. Some antiviral drugs can also be taken by a pregnant infected mother in 36th week of pregnancy can reducing the symptoms in the genitals and allow the baby to be born safely. An example of an antiviral is suitable for that is Acyclovir.
7. Is there a treatment for herpes?
Antiviral drugs can be used to treat genital herpes outbreaks and help you stay symptom free. It is not a cure but it can help you manage the disease better. Common drugs used for treatment of genital herpes are acyclovir (Zovirax ), famciclovir (Famvir ), and valacyclovir( Valtrex). For treating other types of herpes, anesthetic such as prilocaine, benzocaine, or tetracaine can also relieve itching and pain.
8. Herpes has been around for many many of years.
Yeah! It isn’t a recent disease. The Roman Emperor Tiberius is said to have banned kissing in Rome for some time because many people were having cold sores. Also, in the 16th-century Romeo and Juliet, blisters “o’er ladies’ lips” are mentioned.
It was not until the 1940s, that it was discovered as a virus.
Well, that’s pretty much everything you need to know about herpes. If you want to know more, you can talk to a medical professional and get more information about the disease. Also remember to go for check ups regularly.