The family herpes – concluding with genital herpes

The family herpes – introducing cold sores
August 23, 2016
December 8, 2016

The family herpes – concluding with genital herpes

“DOCTOR AT SEA” a monthly Column in The Islander Magazine

The family herpes – concluding with genital herpes

The journey through the herpes virus family has taken us from chickenpox and its very close relative shingles (July issue), through cold sores and other manifestations of type1 herpes (August issue) to genital herpes caused mainly by type 2 herpes but also by type 1. The various conditions are all very different but the common threads remain – that is, any particular herpes infection is permanent and subject to flare-ups throughout life but they are all amenable to antiviral medication.

This final instalment introduces herpes in sexually transmitted disease which unfortunately is a frequent worry amongst our patients.

Type 2 causes most cases of genital herpes which is transmitted by skin to skin contact and condoms do not necessarily protect. Type 1 commonly produces cold sores on the lips but can be transmitted from the mouth to the genitals during oral sex. Transmission of either type is most likely when the infected person actually has visible active lesions but transmission can also occur when there are no visible sores (and the person may not even know they are infected).

The first outbreak can be severe and usually occurs within 2 weeks of being infected although many people have either no symptoms or very mild lesions which may be mistaken for insect bites or some other skin condition. More severe episodes start with a tingling discomfort prior to the appearance of small painful blisters filled with clear fluid which burst and leave painful sores that crust over and heal in about 7 to 14 days. Subsequent episodes are usually less severe and shorter than the first outbreak and tend to get less frequent over the next 2-3 years – type 1 has fewer recurrences than type 2.

The initial outbreaks can be associated with fever, malaise and loss of appetite and general aches and pains and can make urination painful. The recurrences can be triggered by physical or emotional stress, fatigue or genital irritation or trauma. Subsequent outbreaks usually last 2-3 days and may not need treatment.

Diagnosis is based on appearance (and patient’s sexual history) and can be reinforced with blood tests that check for antibody levels to the herpes virus – although the blood tests can also be positive in infected people who have never had symptoms.

Once recognised, treatment with an oral antiviral such as aciclovir “Zovirax” should be started as soon as possible, preferably when the skin tingling begins. Some people, who have frequent outbreaks, take this medication daily over a period of time to prevent attacks whereas others may have a year or more between recurrences. Pregnant women may be treated during the last month of pregnancy to avoid an outbreak around delivery and a Caesarean section is recommended to reduce the risk of infecting the baby.

The surest way to avoid STDs and to enjoy sex is to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with a partner who is known to be uninfected. If one or other partner is infected, then condoms can reduce the risk of transmission but are less effective if a lesion is not covered by the condom (genital herpes often affects the outer skin in the female). Intercourse should be avoided completely even with a condom if spots or sores are present. The situation is complicated also by infected persons shedding the virus even when they have no lesions although the risk of transmission is more with visible active lesions. The infection affects about 1 in every 5 women and about 1 in every 9 men, in persons aged 14 to 49 years, so unprotected sex with consecutive or multiple partners is extremely risky.

So that completes the journey around this little family of viruses, this piece with some polishing up by Dr Rosemary! They are not generally life-threatening but they are life-long once encountered although nowadays they respond to antiviral medication that can shorten attacks.

If you missed the previous related articles, you can find them online at www.theislander.net under “Features”.

Dr Ken Prudhoe, MCA Approved Doctor, can be contacted at Club de Mar Medical Centre, Palma de Mallorca.

12 Comments

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  9. sharon nick says:

    I have come to find out that herbal medicine its the best solution to all STDs and STIs and other health related threatening issues/diseases, cause i was once tested positive for herpes and i have lived with it for about 5 years tried all form of medication all to know avail, until i get a recommendation from someone online about herbal medicine fro Dr Ofua, indeed i actually do a little/more research about the Herbalist and found out he has the possible cure to my ailment, i gave it a try by contacting him on WhatsApp messenger +2347059497969 he had the herbal medicine he sent to me and gave me dietary instructions to follows up while using the herbal medicine, he suggest that i used the medicine for a period of 21 days that after then i should go for a check up at the hospital to know the status of my herpes, which i actually did, after few weeks as recommended by him, I go for check up and behold i was now tested Negative, ever since then i have vowed to let everyone knows that herbal medicine is the solution to any diseases/infections, despite these Big pharma company trying to makes us not to use herbal medicine framing all sort of bad reviews just to diminished herbal medication for their selfish interest and big wallets purpose, my advice to you all is that try herbal medicine today and be glad that you have tried it and i assured you that if you do you will have cause to share a testimony online just am doing now, visit https://dr-ofua-ofure-herbal-healing-home.business.site to know more about the great herbalist that help me and am sure he too will help you.`

  10. willen helen says:

    This is real take it serious, who will believe that a herbal can cure four years HERPES in my body, i never believe that this will work i have spend a lot when getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, what i was waiting for is death because i was broke, my friend call me on Phone and told me about the DR Ehigie who cure her brother for this diseases she said that she never believe ontill her brother were cure, she said i should try him first i might be lucky also,so i give it a tryar. I Contact is Email :Ehigieherbalcure@gmail.com. and he told me what to do and how to take the medication. And he said he will prepare the herb for me, and give me instruction on how to take it, at the end of the two week, he told me to go to the hospital for a check up, and i went, surprisingly after the test the doctor confirm me negative, i thought it was a joke, i went to other hospital was also negative, then i took my friend who was also HERPES positive to the Dr, after the treatment he was also confirm negative . He also have the herb to cure cancer and i want every one with this virus to be free, that is why am dropping his email address, EHIGIEHERBALCURE@GMAIL.COM.   do email him he is a great man. the government is also interested in this DR, thank you for saving my life, and I promise I will always testify for your good work.

  11. Nora Gurun says:

    HSV1 & HSV2 Negative.
    Saying that, herpes virus is not curable is because you have not seen the right person to help you get rid of the virus. I testify because it’s only someone who have experience this virus that konws what it means to be in this situation. After my marriage to Loe my hubby, i noticed one day that I had sudden Cold Sores in my genital part. I went for test and the doctor confirmed me being HSV2 positive.
    I felt my life and happiness with my hubby was finished. But to my greatest surprise my husband had contacted this virus and was later confirm HSV1 positive. I started noticing symptoms like cold sores, sore throat, fever blister, weakness of the body, runny nose, cough and finally the was a serious Outbreak. So I started looking for a remedy to our situation because the phamacytical drugs and the pains was too much for I and my hubby. I was looking for remedy online and different website when i saw a testimony about Dr. Akintunde and the herbal medicine that helped Erica to get rid of HSV2, I remembered my doctor told me the is no cure to this virus, I had to contact Dr. Akintunde on his WhatsApp number and told him about us and the virus, he promised to cure this virus with his herbal medicine. And he prepared four bottles of the herbal medicine and send to me through UPS delivery with instructions on how to take it. And only first week of my start, I noticed the outbreak and all the symptoms was off so, I told Dr. Akintunde about it and he said the medicine will eradicate the virus and boots my immune when i complete my medication. After I took the medicine I went back for retest and my doctor was surprised with my new status HSV2 negative my hubby also was cured. Thanks to Dr. Akintunde I am proud to say you safe our life and we remain greatful and we support your mission on humanity Sir, Do you experience such too?
    Tell Dr. Akin your health problem and be sure of total cure with his natural roots and herbs. Like Erica did testify to me I also testify for everyone who need help to be free from this inconveniencing virus, and any other health challenges you’re having is curable believe me. All the best.
    Dr. Akintunde email and WhatsApp number below.
    Via email:-
    drakintundehomecare@gmail.com

    WhatsApp number:. +2347035245593

  12. marcus fransson says:

    I have been suffering from HIV and Genital Herpes for the past 3 years and 8 months, and ever since then i have been taking series of treatment but there was no improvement until i came across testimonies of Dr TAKUTA on how he has been curing different people from different diseases all over the world, then i contacted him as well. After our conversation he sent me the medicine which i took according to his instructions. When i was done taking the herbal medicine i went for a medical checkup and to my greatest surprise i was cured from Herpes. My heart is so filled with joy. If you are suffering from Herpes or any other disease you can contact Dr TAKUTA today on this Email address: takutaspellalter @ gmail . com or WhatsApp him on this Tell.Number +27788634102….

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