Most people you will meet in your lifetime are most likely infected with one of the herpes viruses. However, they might not even know it, as not everybody develops revealing symptoms. The lucky ones might only have a short mild fever or a non-painful rash, which might lead the person to believe it has another unrelated condition like the flu.
Herpes hides a secret. It is not just a single virus, as it is commonly believed, but rather a group of them, and they mainly cause watery blisters or sores on different parts of the body. Herpes is a painful condition, especially in the beginning. And, unfortunately, there aren’t too many drugs that can treat it or make it occur less frequently within the population.
Most of the time, the primary symptoms like pain and fever can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs, but you cannot get rid of the virus that caused them. There isn’t a vaccine against common herpetic infections, and the viral copies will stay hidden and dormant in your cells until your weakened immune system will let its guard down.
Herpes zoster is one of the bad guys from that group mentioned earlier. It can cause shingles and the scarier chickenpox. Herpes simplex is another one, and it is divided into type 1 and 2. These last two kinds cause the traditional blisters and cold sores around the mouth and sexual organs. That’s why genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease.
Some of the first symptoms an infected human might experience are flu-like. They predominantly consist of recurrent fevers, body pain, headaches and you can get even a runny nose. It all depends on how the sick body reacts to the strange viral DNA, as we are all unique to an extent and react in different ways to pathogens.
In the primary stage of the herpetic infection, which lasts up to eight days after the patient came in contact with the virus, he or she might experience discomfort and pain around the most vulnerable areas of the body. Soon after, those areas might develop tiny but painful blisters, that should not be popped.
They might break on their own, and even get infected by bacteria. It is essential that you keep the area clean. The second stage is less painful than the first eight days. It is the latent part when the virus hides and doesn’t cause an inflammatory reaction. This doesn’t mean it is inactive.
On the contrary, it replicates in your nerve endings, after it travels there from the surface of your skin. And the last stage is the shedding stage when the virus multiplies even more, a process which can result in excruciating pain, especially if it affects the nerves around your rib cage.