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A – Z of Illnesses & Conditions

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Herpes


Herpes: Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by a virus known as the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Genital herpes infection is very common and on the increase . It is more common in women than in men. There is no cure for herpes to date. Supporting your immune system should be your first goal. A weakened immune system is more prone to outbreaks.

You will not have any symptoms when you first become infected with the herpes simplex virus. An outbreak of cold sores may happen some time later. Cold sores often start with a tingling, itching or burning sensation around your mouth. Small fluid-filled sores will then appear, most commonly on the edges of your lower lip.

The herpes simplex virus – or "cold sore virus" – is highly contagious and can be easily passed from person to person by close direct contact. After someone has contracted the virus, it remains dormant (inactive) for most of the time. However, every so often the virus can be activated by certain triggers, resulting in an outbreak of cold sores. These triggers vary from person to person but can include fatigue, an injury to the affected area, and, in women, their period.

Efforts to develop a herpes vaccine by biotechnology companies are ongoing. Until an effective herpes vaccine or cure for HSV infection is found, the prevailing approach to treatment continues to be suppressive antiviral therapy.


Cold sores are at their most contagious when they burst (rupture), but remain contagious until they are completely healed. You should therefore avoid close contact with others until your cold sore has completely healed and disappeared.

ORAL HERPES


Always seek the advice of your doctor before taking herbal remedies

 


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