The Herpes Virus: Simplex, Zoster, and Treatment Types

Picture Herpes virus SimplexWhat is the Herpes Virus?: Out of the herpes virus family, eight are the type that can affect humans. Herpes can be found in animals, such as feline herpes, but it is a different strain. Simplex is 1 type found often in humans. It is a virus that remains in your system for the rest of your life. It cannot be cured, but can be controlled with medication. Oral herpes is the most common, causing cold sores on the lips or mouth area that can easily infect other individuals through kissing or sharing of food or eating utensils. There are many different virus strains, simplex types and diseases that are caused by herpes, including herpetic whitlow, ocular herpes, herpes gladitorum, Mollet’s meningitis, encephalitis, possibly Bell’s palsy, and neonatal herpes. Genital herpes is also a common form of infection, and also presents blisters causing the disease spreading virus particles. After the initial infection, the virus becomes dormant, reappearing time and again. The frequency and severity of outbreaks are thought to be caused by certain body and environmental triggers, but has not been proven 100%. Spreading the infection is most likely when an outbreak is in effect, but the virus can actually be transmitted at any time. That is why it is important to be responsible and mindful of your condition at all times in order to avoid spreading it any further.

What is the Herpes Virus, Zoster? : Herpes Zoster is also known as Shingles, and is a viral disease caused by an initial infection of the varicella zoster virus. VZV initially causes chickenpox mostly seen in children and young people, but remains in the body and sometimes develops into herpes zoster. Even though these 2 types of illnesses are caused by the same virus, they have very different symptoms, and VZV can lay dormant in the body for years before developing into herpes zoster. The outbreak is caused by the virus breaking free from nerve cell bodies and then traveling down nerve axons, causing the viral infection that we see on the skin. This visible symptom presents itself in a painful rash that usually heals itself within two to four weeks. However, there are some patients that continue to suffer residual nerve pain long after the rash is gone. This can go on for months and even years, and is known as post herpetic neuralgia.

What Type of Herpes Virus Treatment is Available?: When diagnosed, your doctor will begin a regimen of antiviral drugs specifically targeted to your form of herpes. This keeps outbreaks at bay for the most part, and may shorten the amount of time that an outbreak lasts. Prevention is the key; you should do everything you can to keep from spreading the virus.

Where Can I See Pictures of the Herpes Virus?: While pictures of the many different types of herpes can be seen in medical books in every library, one only has to go online and run a simple search. There are many websites dedicated to the diagnosis, treatment, and containment of herpes, and can provide pictures that may help in self diagnoses before you can get to the doctor. It is also a good way to be able to recognize the symptoms in other people you come in contact with.