Symptoms and treatment of herpes virus and what is herpes virus
Wondering what is herpes? In short, herpes is a virus that develops a viral infection in the human body, causing a number of diseases. More than two hundred strains have been found in herpes, which are very poorly studied, but eight of them were found in specific diseases, so we can study them and try to fight them. The herpes virus is incurable, but it can be suppressed. Below we will take a closer look at what herpesvirus is, what symptoms it causes and how it is treated in the modern world.
WHAT IS HERPES
Herpes is a viral infection that gets its name from the symptoms of a blistering rash, similar to a creeping substance and affecting the skin. In Greek, herpes means creeping, or a disease that spreads over the skin.
Herpes viruses can live both in humans and in animals. Strains that treat exclusively humans as a carrier are called human herpes viruses. Any strain of herpes, getting into the body, goes into a latent form and cannot be completely cured. It is located in the nerve ganglia and is constantly multiplying. During this time, the immune system produces antibodies to maintain balance in the body. If the immune system weakens, the disease will relapse and the herpesvirus cells will begin to crawl out.
Almost all people living in the civilized world become infected with herpes in early childhood. The most common herpes infection in the human body is airborne droplets or infection through saliva, usually from mother to child. After that, there is an infection with the herpes simplex virus, which first causes herpetic stomatitis, and then passes into the chronic stage. And also frequent infection occurs through the placenta from pregnant to fetus or during childbirth, when the child passes through the birth canal.
If a person has never developed a herpes infection at a young or adult age, this does not mean that herpes is not present in the body. People with good immune systems may never experience herpetic manifestations at all in their lives. To make sure that the herpes virus is present in the majority, laboratory diagnostics should be performed, and almost always, even if the person did not have symptoms, tests will show the presence of DNA of the virus in the blood.
ABOUT TYPES OF HERPESVIRUS
The human herpes virus (HHV) has eight strains that are more or less studied, let’s talk about them in more detail.
HSV type 1. Herpes simplex virus type 1 is the most common manifestation. It gives symptoms in different areas of the skin – it causes a cold on the lips, manifests itself in the form of ophthalmic herpes (herpes on the eye) and in other parts of the body. Often, HSV type 1 spills out on the hands or face in different parts, affecting the facial nerve.
HSV type 2. Herpes simplex virus type 2 usually manifests itself in the groin or genital area, but genital herpes is not always caused by the presence of HSV type 2 in the blood, since genital herpes can also be triggered by HSV type 1. And the herpes simplex virus of the second type, in turn, can infect absolutely any part of the skin, but more often it manifests itself on the genitals.
Varicella zoster. This is the third type of herpesvirus. This strain causes two diseases. At primary infection, as a rule, in childhood, it is the cause of chickenpox, it is used to call it “chickenpox”. And in case of a relapse of the disease, after the chronic course of the disease in adulthood aggravates, Varicella zoster calls out shingles, it is also called “herpes zoster”.
Epstein-barr virus. The fourth type of herpesvirus. It causes many diseases, the most common of which is infectious mononucleosis.
Cytomegalovirus. This is the fifth type of herpesvirus. Causes cytomegalovirus infection, and the vast majority of people on the planet are carriers of this virus. With a severe course of the disease, it affects the internal organs and can be fatal.
Human herpes viruses of the sixth type. There are two of them – 6A and 6B. 6A often causes multiple sclerosis, and 6B is the causative agent of baby roseola. These are the most common manifestations of type 6 herpesviruses, but they cause other diseases as well.
Herpes virus type 7. Discovered not so long ago in comparison with the above strains. Often works in conjunction with the sixth type. It has been found in a number of diseases such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), lichen rosacea, pneumonia and other diseases.
Herpes virus type 8. This virus is associated with diseases such as Kaposi’s sarcoma. But apart from Kaposi’s sarcoma, it can cause primary lymphomas and Castleman’s disease.
This is a short description of viruses, they have their own symptoms and treatment methods. We described in more detail about the types of herpesvirus in the article – types of herpes.
SYMPTOMS OF HERPES
There are various general symptoms in the manifestation of a herpes infection. With some strains of herpesvirus, the general state of health may be stable, with some, on the contrary, there may be no external signs. Let’s touch on only the brightest and most common signs of herpesvirus.
In most cases, the manifestation of symptoms is expressed in the form of the following signs:
itching and burning is observed, in some places there is pain;
after, small vesicles appear;
then the vesicles burst and form a large bubble;
then they begin to dry out and gradually heal.
This is what the symptoms of HSV types 1 and 2 look like. Chickenpox also develops a rash that is easy to overcome, but with shingles, there are also symptoms of a neuralgic nature. And cytomegalovirus does not give any symptoms of a skin rash at all, but with baby roseola, the child can become almost completely covered with rashes.
If we talk about the symptoms of herpes, you need to understand that different strains of the virus can give absolutely different symptoms. In order to study in detail the symptoms of the herpes virus of a particular strain or the disease caused by it, it is necessary to refer to the appropriate sources.
We have already found out that it is completely impossible to cure the virus due to the specifics of its camouflage in hard-to-reach places. All that can be done is to constantly control the multiplication of the virus with the help of immunity. But with a weakening of the protective functions of the body, it is possible to influence the herpesvirus with the help of antiviral agents.
There are several drugs that contain active substances to fight the herpes virus. We list them below:
Acyclovir. This is the most famous drug, which was not easily discovered as an antiviral agent, namely, as an antiherpetic. There are many analogs that are called differently, but they contain the same acyclovir, for example, Zovirax. There are three forms of this medication – ointment, pills, and injections.
Famciclovir. It fights quite well against the herpes zoster virus and both types of HSV. In some people, the virus is resistant to acyclovir, and the drug stops fighting herpes. In this case, it makes sense to use Famciclovir.
Valacyclovir. More effective than Acyclovir. Very quickly suppresses the activity of the virus, and removes the symptoms from the patient. It prevents herpes from spreading through contact and household communications to other people.
These are the most famous and commonly used drugs to fight herpes infection. But there are many more. In addition to antiviral agents, support of the immune system is also needed in the form of taking immunomodulatory drugs, for example, Cycloferon.
Some strains cause diseases in which treatment is carried out without the use of these drugs, since the treatment falls into the competence of a completely different environment of the affected areas. For example, with infectious mononucleosis, first of all, it is necessary to pay to the symptoms of the disease, which manifest themselves in the form of fever, enlargement of the liver or spleen, as well as sore throat.
Summing up, it is worth noting that the symptoms and treatment of herpes differ not only from its types, but also from the form of the disease. With primary infection, symptoms may be more aggressive, and with frequent relapses, more moderate symptoms but difficult treatment are possible. Most people suffer from the herpes simplex virus, and when diseases occur that are associated with other strains of this virus, people, even after treatment, do not suspect that their illness was caused by herpesvirus.