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Herpes simplex infection: symptoms, transmission and treatment

For many centuries, the humanity has suffered from different kinds of diseases. Hence, the medical field had to develop a thorough system of health care examination to be able to deal with them. The major concern of an effective public health care is that knowledge is required in regard to identification of symptoms, transmission and treatment of a disease.. Consequently, it would be easier to prevent its risks or treat it effectively. Herpes is one of the most well-known diseases, which requires appropriate treatment and medication.

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Identification of the disease

Herpes is a viral disease that has transmission and treatment peculiarities. Considering the manner in which the disease is transmitted, two types of herpes have to be taken into account. The way of transmission of herpes depends on its type. Herpes simplex type 1 is a more common type, and it is usually transmitted via contact with the virus in sores, saliva or surfaces in or around a person’s mouth. Thus, herpes of the first type is mostly oral herpes, but it can be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact causing genital herpes. The second type of herpes is a sexually transmitted infection, and is obtained through a direct contact with an infected person`s genital surfaces, sores or skin. Moreover, sometimes such a type of herpes can be transmitted from mother to baby during delivery. Herpes simplex is caused by a virus. Herpesviridae remains to be the etiologic agent for this disease. The virus of herpes is a double stranded DNA developed virus with a doughnut shaped capsomere. As a result, the treatment of herpes simplex requires an appropriate and effective examination.

A brief history of the disease and its signs and symptoms

The origin of herpes in human history is unknown. However, ancient Greeks were the first to document it as sores creeping over the surface of the skin. Hippocrates tried to describe spreading of herpes due to its nature and symptoms. In 1873, Vidal demonstrated that the disease was the infection caused by human inoculation. Some sources consider the fact that there was an attempt to curb an epidemic of herpes as Roman Emperor Tiberius outlawed kissing during various public rituals and ceremonies (Sizemore, et al., 2005). In the twentieth century, the research on the peculiarities of herpes transmission characterized herpevirus infection. Besides, in 1919 Lowenstein conducted several experiments and confirmed that herpes had an infectious nature (Sizemore, et al., 2005). In the second half of the twentieth century, the natural historical background of herpes was studied more widely. Consequently, it was found that herpes could infect both human’s skin and central nervous system. Later, the thorough studies of herpes examined its causes, symptoms, ways of transmission, and appropriate treatment methods.

As any other disease, herpes simplex has its peculiar signs and symptoms. Hence, considering the herpes simplex type 1, it should be noticed that oral herpes infection usually does not have any particular symptoms and, as a result, many people suffering from this disease are unaware of the fact that they are infected. However, potential symptoms of oral herpes may include painful blisters and sores, which medical professionals use to call ulcers. Such ulcers are mostly located in or around the mouth. Sometimes sores can appear on the lips and they are called cold sores. When a person is infected by the virus of herpes, he or she would experience such symptoms as tingling, itching or burning sensation in the infected area. The sore or ulcer may re-appear again at any time. In regard to genital herpes virus 1, it can also appear without any symptoms or a person may be simply not able to recognize these symptoms or signs. Thus, if the symptoms appear, a person can experience genital or anal blisters or ulcers. Usually, genital herpes does not occur occasionally.

Suffering from the second type of herpes simplex infection, a person not always can experience particular symptoms. The majority of people infected by herpes simplex virus type 2 are not aware of their condition. However, similarly to the first type, the second type may be recognized by such signs as genital or anal blisters and ulcers. In addition to this, more severe symptoms occur in recent years, including fever, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches. Initial herpes outbreak is usually associated with more severe symptoms than the recurrent ones. The number of symptomatic recurrent outbreaks of herpes may decrease over time. People suffering from the herpes simplex type 2 may also experience mild tingling or shooting pain in the legs, hips, and buttocks before the occurrence of genital ulcers.

Current disease status

Due to its wide expansion, herpes simplex remains one of the main concerns of the World Health Organization (WHO). The disease can be classified as potential biological weapon as with every passing year it affects more people. Moreover, it can occur in people of different ages, from 14 to 50. According to the statistics presented in 2006, the estimated number of people suffering from genital herpes increased significantly. In the majority of cases the disease is caused by herpes simplex virus 1and I transmitted through oral sex. Besides, women are claimed to suffer from this disease more frequently than men. Moreover, the factor of age also plays an important role. With an increase in age, the bigger number of people is infected. In addition, for example, in underdeveloped or developing countries with poor hygienic conditions, herpes simplex can be found in almost 90 % of children population. Consequently, expansion of herpes should be well-examined to prevent it from acquiring the epidemiological nature.

Disease prevention and treatment

Once a person experiences the symptoms of the disease, preventative measures should be taken not to allow further development and spreading of the disease. It is important not to have sex with multiple partners. Unfortunately, there is no cure for HSV disease, thus a person can follow different ways of controlling and treating it. A healthy lifestyle should be always leaded top priority. Herpes outbreaks may be caused by various factors including poor diet, anger or even stress. Consequently, one should follow a proper diet and improve his/her immune system. Besides, during a herpes outbreak, it is required to have some medications, which can relieve the pain and discomfort associated with sores or blisters. Such medications do not kill the herpes virus thus they may reduce redness, itching, and pain caused by ulcers or blisters. The list of possible medications includes acyclovir, famciclovir and valacyclovir. They can assist in treating herpes outbreaks and speed the healing process. Nevertheless, the best way to prevent herpes simplex is to avoid direct physical contact with infected people. In regard to herpes simplex virus type 1, it is important to avoid kissing or sharing plates and cups. While experiencing the second type of herpes, a person has to avoid sexual contacts. Adhering to all preventative and treatment methods, a person can avoid complications associated with herpes.

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Disease outbreak

Nowadays, approximately 1 billion people around the world are infected with herpes. The World Health Organization runs a statistics of population infected with herpes. Moreover, according to the organization, the possibility of a person to experience herpes increases with age. Hence, such organizations as WHO work to accelerate new strategies and methods to prevent and control HSV infections (Sauerbrei, 2016). Furthermore, some vaccines have been already tested in order to provide people with an opportunity to avoid herpes outbreaks.

In conclusion, there have always existed different types of diseases. Consequently, there was a necessity for their examination and treatment. Herpes is one of such diseases, which requires a thorough study. While looking for herpes prevention methods, it is important to consider the ways of its transmission, causes, and possible complications.

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