Herpes Simplex Virus

Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are two species of the herpes virus family, Herpesviridae, which cause infections in humans. Eight members of herpesviridae infect humans to cause a variety of illnesses including cold sores, chickenpox or varicella, shingles or herpes zoster (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), and various cancers, and can cause brain inflammation (encephalitis). All viruses in the herpes family produce life-long infections.

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Watery blisters in the skin or mucous membranes of the mouth, lips or genitals mark an infection by a herpes simplex virus. Lesions heal with a scab characteristic of herpetic disease. However, the infection is persistent and symptoms may recur periodically as outbreaks of sores near the site of original infection. After the initial, or primary, infection, HSV becomes latent in the cell bodies of nerves in the area. Some infected people experience sporadic episodes of viral reactivation, followed by transportation of the virus via the nerve's axon to the skin, where virus replication and shedding occurs.

Herpes is contagious if the carrier is producing and shedding the virus. This is especially likely during an outbreak but possible at other times. There is no cure yet, but there are treatments, which reduce the likelihood of viral shedding.


Mode of Action
Genital Herpes is a infection caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV. There are two types of HSV, HSV type I and type II and both can cause genital herpes. HSV type I usually causes oral herpes and affect the mouth and face.Common symptoms are cold sores and fever blisters. HSV type II usually infects the genitalia and perianal region symptoms may include a rash, blisters or sores in or around the genital area. Itching, burning tingling or swelling in and around the genital area this symptom’s frequently recurred in infected persons at variable intervals. Genitel herpes is most often spread through sexual contact

Transmission
HSV is transmitted during close contact with an infected person who is shedding virus from the skin, in saliva or in secretions from the genitals. This horizontal transmission of the virus is more likely to occur when sores are present, although viral shedding, and therefore transmission, does occur in the absence of visible sores. In addition, vertical transmission of HSV may occur between mother and child during childbirth, which can be fatal to the infant. The immature immune system of the child is unable to defend against the virus and even if treated, the infection can result in inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) that may cause brain damage. Transmission occurs when the infant passes through the birth canal, but the risk of infection is reduced if there are no symptoms or exposed blisters during delivery. The first outbreak after exposure to HSV is commonly more severe than future outbreaks, as the body has not had a chance to produce antibodies; this first outbreak carries a low (~1%) risk of developing aseptic meningitis

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