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Nurse Annie
Nurse Annie, Nurse (RN)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 6471
Experience:  PHD RN 40+ years in nursing all depts & units 20+ years as a midwife, certified lactation consultant
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can genital herpes lie dormant for over 20 years

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Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse Annie replied 9 years ago.

Signs and symptoms of herpes develop within 2 weeks after the virus is transmitted, and the sores heal within 2-4 weeks. This is referred to as an outbreak. Most people may never have sores, or they may have very mild signs. Unlike other STDs and some other infections, herpes would not lay dormant. These symptoms might include tingling or sores near the area where the virus has entered the body, such as on the genital or rectal area, on buttocks or thighs, or occasionally on other parts of the body where the virus has entered through broken skin. They also can occur inside the vagina and on the cervix in women, or in the urinary passage of women and men. Small red bumps appear first, develop into small blisters, and then become itchy, painful sores that might develop a crust and will heal without leaving a scar. Sometimes, there is a crack or raw area or some redness without pain, itching, or tingling. Other symptoms that may accompany the first (and less often future) outbreak of genital herpes are fever, headache, muscle aches, painful or difficult urination, vaginal discharge, and swollen glands in the groin area. You can read more about herpes here
At this point there is not a cure- only treatment. A vaccine to prevent herpes infection is not available at this time, but several are being studied and may be available soon. Currently certain antiviral medications are used for treatment. These can relieve symptoms, shorten the length of outbreaks, and prevent some recurrent outbreaks.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nurse Annie's Post: I need to know if herpes could have laid dormant in a woman for over 20 years before an outbreak, I understand your answer but not what I want to know. The length of possible domancy before any outbreak is what I am looking for.
Expert:  Nurse Annie replied 9 years ago.

It takes 2 weeks from exposure for symptoms to occur. Herpes does not lay dormant for over 20 years.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nurse Annie's Post: So, it would be a pretty good bet that if my spouse of over 20 years suddenly had a severe outbreak, which is acute quite often, since January this year would give rise to suspicion.
She never had any symptoms over the 20 years and she had the out break about 2 weeks after a business trip, with her boss.
Expert:  Nurse Annie replied 9 years ago.

It could be possible that she has had it for a long time, but did not recognize the symptoms, and was never tested. The amount of outbreaks can also decrease over time.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Nurse Annie's Post: She has outbreaks every few weeks.
Expert:  Nurse Annie replied 9 years ago.

There is no way of knowing how long she has had it, since the symptoms can be mistaken for something else. This is most likely why she was never tested.
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