Pictures of HSV-2
The Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is of two types, HSV-1 and HSV-2. The HSV-2 causes genital herpes, which is very contagious and usually spreads through sexual contact with an infected person. The infection can be passed on even if the infected person does not show any symptoms of infection. Genital herpes can, however, also be caused by HSV-1 when a person with cold sores indulges in oral sex.
Contagious Nature of HSV-2
The HSV-2 virus enters the body through the skin and moves along the nerve path. It can remain dormant or inactive in the nerves for the entire life of the person. It can also result in periodic outbursts triggered by certain factors. When it becomes active, the virus travels back along the nerve path and comes to the surface of the skin. During this period, there is additional shedding of virus. However, it can remain asymptomatic or result in an outbreak of blisters. In both the cases, the virus can easily be passed on to another person through sexual contact. Even if the person wears a condom, it may not totally protect the healthy partner.
Symptoms of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
The symptoms of HSV-2 can occur within a short time after the initial contact. The virus can also remain dormant and present itself months or even years after being infected. The primary infection is usually very severe, with the blisters breaking open after a few days and then scabbing, after which they start to heal. These blisters might also be accompanied by fever and lymph nodes that swell up. The outbreaks usually begin with a tingling or itching sensation in the genital or the anal areas. Small blisters start to appear in the area. Sometimes, the blisters can also occur in the urethra and cause pain while passing urine. Some people experience very mild pain arising from HSV-2 infection, whereas in some there are no symptoms at all. However, for some, it can be extremely painful, especially during the initial outbreak in the genital area.
What Causes HSV-2
Outbreaks can be brought about due to various reasons, such as:
- emotional and physical stress;
- sexual activity;
- other illnesses;
- lowered immunity due to medications or due to chemotherapy among other factors.
Is There a Cure for Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2
There is no cure for HSV-2 or for HSV-1, but there is treatment available for making the symptoms less painful and for reducing the healing period. The frequency of the outbreaks can also be reduced. There are drugs, such as Famvir, Valtrex and Zovirax used for treating Herpes. Warm baths are especially useful for relieving pain due to HSV-2 or genital Herpes.