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Herpes Essay

776 words - 3 pages


Herpes is one of the common of more than 30 different sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) in America today. Herpes is an infection that is caused by one of two closely related viruses, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both of which are very easily caught, have similar symptoms, and can occur on different parts of the body. Even though it is most common to see the virus HSV-1 appear as oral herpes and to see the virus HSV-2 appear as genital herpes.

     Most often herpes is a relatively harmless disease that is rarely life threatening. The most common form of herpes is oral herpes and usually shows up on the lips or inside of the mouth as “cold sores” or “fever blisters”. Cold sores are common in young children who acquire them from being exposed to active cold sores of adults and other children. This form of herpes is annoying but harmless in both children and adult, but is however very harmful to a newborn. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish whether or not someone has been exposed to the other form of herpes, genital herpes. This is because there are very often no symptoms that go along with the virus. This is not always the case though and when symptoms do occur they are often seen as a cluster of blister sores, usually on the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, or anus. For genital herpes, symptoms may last several weeks, go away but only to return again weeks, months, or even years later. Symptoms may also include pain in the infected area, itching, burning feeling if urine flows over sores, and possibly an inability to urinate if severely swollen from many sores. Very severe outbreaks may have symptoms that include swollen and tender lymph glands in the groin, throat, or under the arms, and even flu-like feelings such as fever, chills, headache, and a general run down feeling.

The spread of herpes may be attributed to a variety of activities ranging from touching and kissing to more intimate activities such as vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse. The time when the virus is most likely to be spread is when the sores, such as cold sores or fever blisters, are open and weeping, during this time the virus may be spread from...

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