Herpes research has experienced a staggering boom in the last twenty years or so. Given the number of infected people, a lot of pressure is put on medical researchers to come up with a viable cure or inoculation method for the herpes simplex virus.
The herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is an infection that is generally responsible for cold sores; while the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is responsible for genital herpes. Herpes research shows that only 20% of cold sores are a result of the HSV-1 and the same percentage goes for genital herpes being a result of HSV-2.
Transmission is through direct contact with an infected person. It is highly contagious is the virus is in its symptom phase. When we get in contact with an infected area, the virus enters our skin and reaches our nerves. Along these nerves, it will travel until it reaches our spinal cord where it will settle and start to multiply. This will cause the body to set off an alarm, releasing antibodies to fight the infection off. In this first phase, an infected person is likely to experience flu-like symptoms like fever, muscle pain and swollen lymph glands.
A week after infection, the virus will usually become symptomatic. It will travel from the spinal cord through nerves until it reaches the skin (either around the mouth or the genital area, depending on the infection). There it will replicate again, causing the blisters. These blisters are filled with liquid and will burst, leaving painful, irritating sores in their place.
Permanent treatment is not available for the herpes simplex virus. This is why herpes research is so important. At the time being, there are a lot of medical treatments for the symptoms, so that they can be managed and produce as little distress as possible. But the real pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a permanent cure or inoculation method.
Europe already has a few vaccines that are said to reduce outbreak severity and occurrence. The results are of little medical relevance though and only certain people can benefit from their effects.
A new three day treatment for genital herpes has been released by the makers of Valtrex. Valacyclovir, is a long acting form of acyvlovir. These treatment, like many of the newest treatments focus on aborting the outbreak before it gets out of hand.
Herpes research shows that it is very important to find a cure because odds are that 1 in 10 of our children will have get infected before they will get married if things do not improve. But this is a very hard task for a number of reasons.
First is the resilience of the virus it easily defeats our antibodies and immune system and overcomes them, resulting in outbreaks. Secondly, statistics show that out of 50 million HSV-2 infected US citizens, about 90% of them do not even know they have it, thus making it a lot harder to keep track of the virus and prevent it from spreading through sexual contact.
Overall, the medical community is optimistic. Due to recent advances on the medical front, there is little reason to worry that a cure will not show itself in the near future. Until then, treat the symptoms and avoid spreading the virus. Keep a healthy diet, a healthy lifestyle and a strong immune system to better help you cope with the infection.
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