Herpes - INTRODUCTION

HERPES SIMPLEX

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HERPES SIMPLEX




Types of Herpes Simplex | Herpes Labialis | Therapy Herpes Simplex



Herpes Simplex - Herpes Labialis

One strain of the herpes simplex virus causes cold sores (also known as fever blisters) in and around the mouth, lips, pharynx, nose, face, and ears. The causative agent remains in the cell bodies of facial nerves, causing repeated attacks of the blisters. No established therapy, beyond topical lotions for pain relief, has been developed. (Types of Herpes Simplex, Herpes Labialis, Therapy Herpes Simplex)

Two types of herpes simplex are known. The first causes cold sores or fever blisters—an eruption of blisters that often occurs during the course of or after one of a variety of diseases associated with fever (most commonly colds, influenza, and pneumonia). The blisters usually appear around the mouth and on the lips (herpes labialis); about the nose, face, and ears; and in the mouth and pharynx. The causative virus has been shown to be present in the cell bodies of the facial nerve in people who do not have blisters. It is this reservoir of latent virus that is the source of repeated attacks. Except for lotions to relieve pain, itching, or inflammation, no established therapy has been developed. (Types of Herpes Simplex, Herpes Labialis, Therapy Herpes Simplex)

The second type of herpes simplex virus is the usual cause of genital herpes (see Sexually Transmitted Infections). Herpetic infections of the genital area have become increasingly common. Sometimes accompanied by headache and fever, the condition usually begins with a mild itching, followed by the development of clusters of blisters that break and crust to form scabs that eventually dry up. The process may last one to three weeks. In many cases new clusters of blisters appear as others heal. When a baby is born to a woman who has active genital herpes lesions, the infant is at high risk of contracting an often fatal infection, so these infants are often delivered by cesarean section. Primary cases of genital herpes can be treated by acyclovir, a drug approved in ointment form in 1982 and in oral form in 1984. It is also proving useful against recurrent attacks. (Types of Herpes Simplex, Herpes Labialis, Therapy Herpes Simplex)

The virus can also invade the central nervous system, especially in people who are weakened by other diseases, such as cancer, causing a severe encephalitis. Early treatment of herpetic encephalitis with the drug acyclovir can prevent death and brain damage in many instances. (Types of Herpes Simplex, Herpes Labialis, Therapy Herpes Simplex)

HERPES SIMPLEX | Types of Herpes Simplex | Herpes Labialis | Therapy Herpes Simplex