An Overview Of HSV-1 (Oral Herpes)
HSV-1 (oral herpes) is one of two herpes viruses that is often the cause of cold sores. Cold sores can be painful and last for several days, although there are some treatments that can lessen the duration of an oral herpes outbreak. Oral herpes is the result of a herpes simplex infection.
Although HSV-1 is often associated with oral herpes, it can sometimes result in outbreaks on other parts of the body including the genitals. It’s important that you determine whether you are infected with HSV-1 or HSV-2.
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HSV-1 Symptoms (What HSV-1 Infections Look And Feel Like)
HSV-1 Testing (How To Get Tested For HSV-1)
HSV-1 In The US Population
Herpes Simplex I is highly prevelant in the US population. The infection can be passed from one individual to another in a variety of ways and many Americans don’t even know they are infected with the virus.
How HSV-1 Spreads
Oral herpes is spread through skin to skin contact and transmission occurs when infected tissue or cells passes from one individual to the next. Fever sores or cold blisters are examples of HSV-1 eruptions and are highly contagious. Even if an individual who has herpes simplex I is not experiencing an active outbreak, they can still pass the disease.
Am I At Risk For Oral Herpes?
It is estimated by the CDC that roughly 1 in 6 teenagers and adults in the United States is infected with Herpes Simplex I. HSV-1 is a highly contagious infection and if you are sexually active you are at risk to contract HSV-1. Genital herpes is primarily caused by HSV-2 but a rise in HSV-1 infections on the genitals has been documented by researchers.
HSV-1 And Pregnancy
Pregnant women with either HSV-1 or HSV-2 have a higher rate of premature births, retarded fetal growth and other birth defects that occur in their children. Herpes simplex I and II can pass from mother to child during childbirth and the child will have the infection for life. Both viruses can also pass to a newborn infant after childbirth through kissing an individual with an active cold sore. In rare cases, neonatal herpes can be a life threatening case when the herpes virus infects the amniotic sac.
Can HSV-1 Be Cured?
Herpes sipmlex I has no known cure at this moment. Viral infections can lay dormant for years without having visible effects or outbreaks. Herpes infections can be managed through a variety of medications such as valtrex, acyclovir, zovirax and Xerese.
How Is Oral Herpes Diagnosed?
A variety of tests exist for detecting the presence of herpes simplex I including the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) IgM and Type Specific IgG, direct fluorescent antibody, and culture typing.
Individuals who are infected with HSV-1 should take special precautions to avoid transmitting the infection such as never engaging in oral sex while having an active outbreak. Properly using a latex condom reduces the risk of transmission between partners but natural skinned condoms do not protect against the herpes virus. Monogamous relationships reduce the risk of HSV-1 transmission as well as reducing the number of sexual partners you have.
The History Of Oral Herpes
Herpes is the one of the oldest sexually transmitted diseases on recor. It was first written about by the Greeks (460BCE). The word ‘herpes’ itself was taken from the Greek word ‘herpein’ which means to crawl or creep, a reference to how herpes infections spread throughout the body. Since then, herpes has popped up in a variety places throughout history, infecting hollywood actors, politicans and normal citizens alike.