Herpes simplex viruses are categorized into two types. Herpes type 1 is known as oral herpes, which is the most common, and then there’s herpes type 2 which is genital herpes. Herpes type 1 may cause sores in or around the mouth and lips. Herpes type 2 causes sores in or around the genitals or rectum, usually below the waist. HSV-2 is usually transmitted by sexual contact or by fluids from sore. It can also be spread through pregnancy. Neonatal HSV infections are acquired from maternal strains and 75-85% is caused by HSV-2.
Genital herpes increases the transmission of HIV infection. It’s more common in low income areas but it still happens everywhere, so therefore it’s worldwide. This disease is definitely endemic because it’s around all the time and it’s a stage 4 because there’s no animal host. Once a person has the virus, it remains in the body. During puberty and early adulthood the prevalence of HSV-2 increases and 20-35% of the adults are seropostive meaning it shows a significant level of serum antibodies.
The primary cause of Genital herpes is the result of transmission of an infectious agent by another person by one or more of the following: saliva, air, cough, fecal-oral route, surfaces, blood, needles, blood transfusions, sexual contact, mother to fetus, etc. Genital herpes is not a genetic disease, it is an infectious disease. HSV-2 infection is more common in blacks than whites. In genital herpes, after invading the mucous membranes, it travels to the sensory nerves at the end of the spinal cord. When the skin lesions disappear, the virus still remains inside the nerve cell in an inactive state.
After that the virus travels along the nerves of the skin, where it duplicates and multiplies on the surface at or near sites of the infection. Recurring infections can be triggered by stress, fatigue, sunlight, or even another infection. The prevalence of genital herpes is 67 million people in the world. The rate is approximately 1 in 4 people in the United States. The annual incidence of genital herpes is 500,000 new cases annually and just 1 million annual cases as of the year 2001. Incidence rate is approximately 1 in 544 people in the U. S.
The incidence extrapolation for the U. S. is 499,999 per year 41,666 per month, 9,615 per week, 1,369 per day, and 57 per hour. Nationwide 45 million people at the ages of 12 and older or one out of 5 of the total adolescent and adult population are infected with HSV-2. The average cost of, genital herpes, the year 1994 was $237 million. There is no cure for genital herpes, but there are treatments that can relieve the symptoms. The medication given can decrease pain and shorten healing time. They can also decrease the number of outbreaks, but that depends on the person’s lifestyle.
Drugs such as Famivir, Zovirax, and Valtrex are a few medications given to treat the symptoms of herpes. The appearance of herpes simplex virus is typical and no testing is needed. If your doctor is unsure HSV can be diagnosed with laboratory tests, including DNA or PCR tests and virus cultures. There are three common tests that are used to determine the disease and what type it is. There’s herpes viral culture which is when fluid or cells from a sore are gathered with a cotton swab and put in a culture cup. It often fails to find the virus even if it’s there.
Herpes virus antigen detection test is when when cells from a sore are scraped off and smeared onto a microscope slide. This test finds the antigens on the surface of cells infected with the herpes virus. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is when cells or fluid from a sore or on blood or on other fluid. PCR finds the DNA of the HSV virus, and can also tell if it’s type 1 or 2. Some complications are mother-infant transmission and neonatal HSV infection. In a newborn, herpes can cause organ failure, brain infection, and sometimes even death.
If you may have genital herpes, do not have sexual contact until your test results are back. You can lower the chance of spreading the disease to your partner. A diagnosis of genital herpes can easily dismissed or delayed because in most cases there are no symptoms. Symptoms like headache, swollen lymph glands, fever, chills, and fatigue can mimic symptoms for other viral infections. The time from exposure to genital herpes until the primary outbreak of infection is generally 2 to 14 days. Most people may not notice their first infection because of lack of symptoms.
The entire body may become affected causing flu-like symptoms. Then blisters soon appear around genitals or anus. The blisters break within a few days causing painful and oozing sores. The sores usually heal within 3 weeks without treatment and usually don’t leave scars. The sores on women usually take longer to heal than men. After the primary outbreak there’s usually a recurrent outbreak. Normally the recurrent outbreak sores heal faster and are way less painful. About half of the people who have genital herpes know the outbreaks are coming usually a couple days or a few hours before it happens.
They may have symptoms such as, tingling, burning, itching, numbness, tenderness, or pain where the blisters are going to appear. People who have symptoms average five outbreaks a year during the first few years. Genital herpes can affect many body systems and cause other health problems. You can increase your risk of genital herpes by having multiple sex partners, having high-risk partners, having unprotected sexual contact, starting sexual contact before 18, and having an impaired immune system.
Call your doctor immediately if you have painful blisters in the genital or pelvic area, burning or pain while urinating, and abnormal vaginal or urethral discharge. The case study takes places in Zimbabwe, Africa. The purpose of this study was to measure the incidence rate and prevalence of HSV-2 among women followed 9 months after childbirth. People were randomly chosen from three selected primary health care clinics in two of Harare’s peri-urban high density suburbs. Five women refused to participate, six agreed but never came to their scheduled visits, and only three showed up.
The studies were done in between April and September of 2002. The reason for doing it during this time I’m guessing is because that’s when the women were 9 months pregnant already. The whole case study is talking about the group of pregnant women, but they seem to leave out the non-pregnant women and the children. You also have to remember that when pregnant women have genital herpes it’s more severe because it’s jeopardizing the newborns health. The prevalence of HSV-2 amongst participants at enrollment was 49. 1% and 24. 7% respectively whilst the prevalence of HSV-2 among the 43 male partners was 46%.
In order to diagnose the disease stored samples were tested for HSV-2 at baseline and again at nine months after childbirth and HSV-2 seropositive samples at nine months after childbirth were tested looking back to indentify the seroconversion point. The group of women may have been using condoms purely for contraceptive purposes and stopped during pregnancy and breastfeeding or vaginal delivery is an event that leaves the birth canal traumatized. Therefore due to the lack of condoms during pregnancy, pregnant women were more immune.
The risk factors associated with acquisition of HSV-2 after giving birth were polygamous marriage and young age at sexual debut. With a fertility rate of 3. 8 children a high HSV-2 incidence after birth implies that each time a woman gives birth she through a period when the risk of acquiring HSV-2 is very high. In Saharan Africa HSV-2 is very high after childbirth and therefore it’s necessary to still use condoms during pregnancy to avoid neonatal infections. If possible avoid sexual contact late in pregnancy and also to include men in reproductive health research.
Most men think that it isn’t manly to go studies like these but in reality they are the ones that need it the most. I had a lot of fun researching this specific infectious disease. In the beginning I thought that this would be a hard paper to write because of the length it had to be, but really it wasn’t hard at all because most of it is facts. Worldwide diseases are usually the easiest ones to research and you can find more information on them. Learning about how common and dangerous this disease is makes me want to warn others who are having unprotected sex with both partners getting tested.