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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Genital Herpes

11:08 AM

Description

Herpes is a disease caused by the Herpe svirus. Genital herpes is predominantly caused by Herpes virus 2, but Herpes virus 1 (which usually manifests as cold sores on the lips) may cause it as well. Herpes virus 2 is sexually transmitted. It can also infect fetuses and cause fetal abnormalities. Neonatals are often infected at birth when passing through the vaginal canal. The first outbreak of Herpes tends to be the worst. Once one has been infected,

they tend to suffer recurring outbreaks on a regular basis (for example twice a year), with subsequent occurrences generally lessening in severity.

Symptoms

* Small grouped blisters
* Blisters eventually crust
* Burning/stinging

Diagnosis

* Multiple tests can be done to confirm:
* Tzanck smear
* Viral cultures
* ELISA
* Immunofluorescence tests



Complications

* Birth defects
* Baby infected during delivery
* Encephalitis-infection of the brain
* Herpetic Whitlow-infection spreads to fingers of health care workers who touch the lesions



Similar Conditions

* Chancroid
* Syphilis
* Pyoderma



Treatment

* Acyclovir ointment
* Oral medications
* Acyclovir
* Famvir
* Valtrex
* Low dose oral Acyclovir is used to prevent recurrent attacks in individuals who get multiple outbreaks.

Prevention

* Avoid sexual contact during an active outbreak. Unfortunately, sometimes those with Herpes will have the virus without symptoms. Condoms also offer some protection from transmission, depending on the location of the outbreak.



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