The word “herpes” comes from the Greek language and means “to creep”. It doesn’t matter whether you know about the herpes simplex 1 virus or not, it might have been living in your body for a long time. Researchers have figured out that about 90% of people on the Earth have been infected with this virus.
Its peculiarity is that once it “crept” into a human body, herpes simplex remains there for ever. Is it dangerous? What are the symptoms? In this article we’ll take a close look at one of the kinds of the herpes virus – herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1, or oral herpes).
There are two types of the herpes virus – herpes simplex 1 and 2. The first one is also known as oral herpes, because it has been generally believed to occur in the mouth whereas HSV-2 infections occur in the genital area. Now it has been shown that either type of virus can infect ether site.
Such outward symptoms as circular redness caused by itching and scratching the infected area and blisters and sores on the lips and inside the mouth can be observed during the illness caused by HSV-1. Among some other symptoms which may occur are irritability, tiredness, fever and muscle aches.
An infected person may feel pain when eating and drinking. Sores and blisters can start to bleed if he scratches the skin too intensively or if the illness reaches a certain point in absence of treatment. If you don’t treat it in proper time and manner, there can occur such complications as a swallowing difficulty and some others. If you experience the symptom, you need to see the doctor.
So, how can HSV-1 get into a human body? Oral secretions and sores on the skin contribute much to contagion. The virus can be spread through sharing objects such as toothbrushes or eating utensils or kissing. Therefore, HSV-1 is highly contagious and you can catch it very easily.
As we have already said, there cannot be a full recovery from this disease, because the herpes virus will never get out of your body. It “sleeps” waiting for a chance to come and activate it again. A good state of your immune system doesn’t guarantee you from coming down with herpes.
Here are some so-called triggers which can stimulate a recurrence:-nerve damage;-tissue damage;-fever;-anxiety;-physical stress;-heat;-cold-a suppressed immune system;-exposure to ultraviolet light;-fatigue,and some others.
Besides, a person with AIDS can easily fall ill, because his immune system has been suppressed by HIV.Let’s consider now how herpes simplex 1 works. First of all, the virus gets into the human body through broken skin or the lining of the mouth.
It conquers the nuclei of the cells, after that the herpes virus tries to replicate there. It’s interesting to notice, that although the cells are infected, most people don’t experience any symptoms. But if the invaded cells get destroyed by the process of replication, there appear blisters on the skin which then heal without any scarring. The virus gets back through the nerve to ganglia which are important nerve branching points located deep in the body.
Staying in the ganglia the virus is in an inactive form, which is also called a latent form. During this time HSV-1 doesn’t replicate. Nevertheless, certain triggers (mentioned above) may cause the virus to return back down the nerve to the skin. That is when the symptoms (also mentioned above) are observed. And this condition is known as a virus recurrence.
In order not to get infected or not to provoke a recurrence, you should abide by simple rules. Don’t kiss people with blisters on the face. Don’t touch other people’s blisters, they are extremely contagious. This rule applies predominantly to curious children.
Naturally, don’t panic if you’ve seen a blister on your face in the mirror. A cold or cancer sore clears up in 2-14 days. But if it doesn’t disappear by the end of the second week, you should see the doctor. To avoid complications, don’t ever pick at blisters! They can be very painful.
Now you’re acquainted with your hidden enemy. Eat more healthy food like fruits and vegetables and live an active life to maintain your immune system. This will essentially reduce the risk of a recurrence.