Herpes Zoster

Herpes Zoster

Herpes is a viral caused infection known as Herpes Zoster scientifically. Herpesviridae family of viruses is the main agents that cause the infection and consequently the infection surfaces itself differently (Gross 44). The two main viruses are herpes simplex virus1 and herpes simplex virus 2. Ramsay Hunt first identified herpes infection in late 1907 (Stanberry 31). He was the first scientist to document about the viral infection with the assistance of different scientists and no specific scientist is the chief discoverer. Symptoms of herpes zoster are very insignificant if present, may vary, and are dormant until during developed stages. Symptoms also vary regarding on which virus caused the infection. This research paper cites the various types of viruses, the type of herpes infection they cause, how persons contract and transmit the infections, ways to avoid infection and methods to control the infection once contracted.

The two main types of herpes zoster are oral herpes and genital herpes. Their symptoms are relatively different as they affect different parts of the body (Stanberry 71). Despite the fact that both viruses can cause either oral or genital herpes, herpes simplex virus 1 causes three quarters of lesions that occur in the case of oral herpes. Symptoms of these two types are also relatively different (Gross 56). In oral herpes zoster, cold sores round the mouth area are a dominant symptom of oral herpes. Infection causes painful sores on lips of the affected persons; this is especially common in infants aging from 9 months to 2 years. Gums develop small ulcers and it becomes painful to chew anything while the tongue becomes vulnerable to hot liquids and salty food due to open sores. In acute stages of oral herpes, blisters occur around the neck area and on the inner and outer areas of the cheeks (Gross 41). Small ulcers also occur on the upper areas of the mouth, which especially are sensitive to cold and heat. In addition, active muscles in the body become easily fatigued and ache most of times. Therefore, one becomes easily fatigued even while performing tasks requiring minimal effort (Stanberry 99).

Genital herpes mainly affects the anal areas of the affected individuals. Symptoms of this particular infection are diverse since they float up differently in different people. Mostly, some will have no significant signs while others build up stern symptoms. Gashes around anal and genital areas are a common feature in affected persons (Stanberry 105). The ulcers are usually several or can be one, but extended and painful especially when passing urine in women. This is so because the symptoms are not similar in both men and women. The ulcers dry up in several weeks, but not a sign of complete healing since the viruses are still present in the blood stream (Gross 60). Wounds are a symptom in acute stages of the infection and other mild and almost insignificant signs arise during early stages of the infection. Per se, the nodes of the victim may swell.

It is evident that the two viruses are different in many aspects such as the type of infection they cause. Ways in which a person can contract and transmit each type of virus are as well comparatively different. The herpes virus does not travel in air thus; one cannot contract the infection by breathing the same air as an infected person (Stanberry 17). Any type of herpes virus only spreads through direct contact with the infected part; this is with the case of herpes simplex virus 2. Exchange of body fluids from an infected body to unaffected body also is a way of transmission of herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex 2 (Gross 80).

Saliva carries both types of the viruses but herpes simplex virus 1 is mainly in higher concentration than herpes simplex virus 2. Therefore, a direct deep kiss with a person having herpes ulcer(s) is a direct way to transmit virus to the unaffected person. If a person infected with oral herpes and has open herpes blisters haves oral sex, he, or she transmits the virus to his or her partner (Gross 89). A simple act of sharing the same cup or drinking soda from the same can with a person having herpes sores in the mouth can also spread virus to the unaffected person, but if the fluid dries before the virus is transmitted to another host, it is rendered quiescent (Stanberry 43)

Herpes simplex virus 2 mostly spreads from one host to another through sexual intercourse. If a person, having full of zip genital herpes and has developed lesions around the genitals or anal areas happens to have unprotected vaginal intercourse, he or she passes virus to his or her partner, which is also true in case of anal intercourse (Gross 100). It is important to note that, if one had suffered from oral herpes earlier he or she may be free from genital herpes even on having intercourse with an infected person. This is due to the immune developed in the body against herpes viruses after the first herpes simplex virus 1 attack (Stanberry 75). Herpes simplex virus 2 also transmits through direct skin contact with a person bearing the virus even if the person has no sores on the skin. This is because the virus can also dwell on the skin.

Herpes zoster can fall under the category of sexually transmitted infection and general measures taken to prevent contraction or transmission of sexually transmitted infections require practicing to control herpes zoster (Gross 76). Refraining from sex completely for single persons is an effective way to prevent contraction of the infection. For persons already having sexual partners, faithfulness to their partners is the only way to avoid contracting and transmitting the virus to their partners (Stanberry 90). People who have multiple sexual partners should use protection while indulging in intercourse with their partners to avoid multiple viral transfers.

Use of protection during intercourse however, does not guarantee full protection from contracting genital herpes. A condom may not envelop all the parts with herpes gashes and viral transfer is still possible (Gross 90) even when condoms are used. Thus, victims suffering from herpes zoster especially genital herpes should avoid indulging in sex completely during viral outbreaks. However, in between outbreaks, the virus is dormant, inactive, and it is relatively safe to have intercourse. There are different factors that render the virus active, exposure to subsequent infections being the common one and strong feelings such as trauma and pressure from stress. Thus, recurrent infections are common in many victims when under the mentioned factors (Stanberry 89).

As stated earlier herpes zoster is a viral disease and therefore have no cure and can only be suppressed or rendered dormant in the body (Stanberry 54). Attempts by renowned scientists and medical experts to make a cure are many but none has come up with one. Only methods to prevent reactivation of the viruses in the body keep increasing. The structure of the virus is what makes it difficult for experts to provide a cure (Gross50). A herpes simplex virus is able to penetrate in the thin membranes of body cells where the effect of drugs is almost zero. Since no vaccines against the infection are present yet, experts recommend consumption of unsullied fruits and green vegetables. They contain vital vitamins that are able to improve the body’s potential to fight against viruses.

In conclusion, herpes zoster is a viral infection and two main viruses causing it are the herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2. Though the two viruses are of the same class, they cause two different types of herpes. Oral herpes, caused by herpes simplex virus1 and genital herpes caused by herpes simplex 2. The contraction and transmission of the two viruses from one host to another is as well different. Common methods of contraction are exchange of body fluids such as saliva, sexual intercourse either oral sex or vaginal sex with an infected person, or coming into direct contact with ulcers of a herpes victim (Gross 65). Sores around the mouth area are the dominant symptom of oral herpes and sores around the genitals and anal areas in case of genital herpes.

It is also evident that these sores occur in acute stages of the infection and there are other symptoms such as fever-like symptoms and flu especially in children. Herpes viruses do not pass through air but mainly through fluids. It is also in order to conclude that herpes infections have no cure and once the virus is in the body, suppressing it is the only available option. The viruses can remain dormant for a while but factors such as, pressure from stress and extreme shock can reactivate them (Stanberry 78).

Work cited

Stanberry, Lawrence. Understanding Herpes. Jackson: university press of Mississippi, 2006.

Gross, Gerd. Herpes Zoster. Amazon: Karger publishers, 2006.