Most of the people that are infected with herpes are normally infected with a particular strain of it, known as the herpes simplex virus one. More commonly known as the cold sore. Symptoms are very mild and people do not notice this. This is advantageous to an infected person because it does not disrupt their lifestyle. However, there is a greater risk of unwittingly infecting another person.
It's when outbreaks happen that herpes symptoms show themselves. How often an outbreak can happen is different from person to person. This can be anywhere between a few days, a few months. For some people it can take years before an outbreak can occur. During the first outbreak of herpes, the infected person often experiences symptoms that look like they have the flu. They have fever, and experience pain in the legs and in their back. Subsequent outbreaks will not be so painful but they will still have blisters that scab. After a few days, these scabs heal themselves and later disapper. Outbreaks get less and less painful or severe as time goes on.
Recurrent attacks are caused by the same infection. It is not caused by a reinfection of the virus. Over time, the frequency of the outbreaks lessens and some people experience no outbreaks at all. The HSV2 virus is spread when there is contact with the cold sore or a skin that is infected with the virus. Transmission can occur even when there are no symptoms present.
Getting tested for herpes can involve taking a swab from an infected area of the body. When an outbreak occurs, a swab sample is drawn over the blister and tested. This can determine the type of infection, whether it is an HSV-1 or HSV-2. The other type of test is a blood test. This has an advantage over the swab test because it's possible to diagnose an infection even when there are no outbreaks. However, you can't tell which body part is infected. It's good to ask your doctor what kind of test is suitable for you.
The herpes virus cannot be totally eradicated from the body. It will be there for as long as it wants to be. Despite this, there are several treatments that are available to manage the symptoms when an outbreak occurs. Iodine paint can help blisters dry out. Salt baths can be employed to give some comfort.
There are also prescription medication called anti-virals. These drugs can reduce the symptoms during an outbreak. It can also be taken continuously ot prevent or reduce the frequency of outbreaks.
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