Herpes Infection

Herpes

Herpes is an infection caused by HSV (herpes simplex virus). This virus affects the external genitalia, anal region, mucosal surfaces, and skin in other parts of the body.

Herpes is a long-term condition. However, many people never have symptoms even though they are carrying the virus.

Symptoms

Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus - with symptoms including cold sores on the mouth.

Herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus.

Most people do not experience symptoms for months or years after becoming infected. Those who do have symptoms during the initial period will usually notice them about 4 days after exposure (the average range is 2-12 days).

Many people with HSV have recurring herpes. When a person is first infected, the recurrences tend to happen more frequently. Over time, however, the remission periods get longer, and each occurrence tends to become less severe.

Primary infection symptoms

Primary infection is a term used for an outbreak of genital herpes that occurs when a person is first infected. The symptoms can be quite severe and may include:

  • blisters and ulceration on external genitalia, in the vagina, or on the cervix
  • vaginal discharge
  • pain and itching
  • tender, enlarged lymph nodes
  • pain when urinating
  • high temperature (fever)
  • malaise (feeling unwell)
  • cold sores around the mouth
  • red blisters on the skin

In most cases, the ulcers will heal, and the individual will not have any lasting scars.

Recurrent infection symptoms

Symptoms that occur in a recurrent infection tend to be less severe and do not last as long as they do in the primary infection stage. Typically, symptoms will last no more than 10 days and include:

  • burning or tingling around genitals before blisters appear
  • women may have blisters and ulceration on the cervix
  • cold sores around the mouth
  • red blisters

Eventually, recurrences happen less often and are much less severe

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