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Dr Muneeb: please explain herpes...not the "kissing" kind,

Dr Muneeb: please explain herpes...not...
Dr Muneeb: please explain herpes...not the "kissing" kind, the somewhat more serious sort. Doctors don't want to discuss it with an old lady who knows she got it from her husband who died recently. It is a problem for me no one wants to hear about, but I have to live with it.
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Answered in 7 minutes by:
6/9/2018
Dr. Muneeb Ali
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 10,282
Experience: MBBS, MD, MCCM. Currently working in Critical Care Medicine with 10 year experience in Medicine
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Hi,

Welcome back. Herpes is basically caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), there are two types of the virus. The first type, HSV-1, is commonly referred to as oral herpes which causes cold sores or blisters to occur in the region around the mouth. The second type, HSV-2, is the one which commonly causes sores or blisters in the genital region. Now the less commonly known fact is that both of the types are interchangeable, which means that a person can get blisters in the oral region because of the HSV-2 virus and also get sores in the genital region because of the HSV-1 virus.

Now generally speaking both types are essentially benign, they DONT usually cause life-threatening issues, only in those patients who are immunocompromised, meaning whose immune systems have been weakened by a pre-existing disease, will serious complications occur. This means that those patients who have AIDS or those who have UNCONTROLLED diabetes mellitus would develop the serious complications like hepatitis (inflammation of the liver) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). 99% of the human population does NOT develop these serious issues regardless of the type of virus that they have.

Most patients, who are infected by the virus, don't experience any symptoms at all or they experience symptoms which they won't notice. The virus can even stay dormant for several years before it causes any issues in a patient.

Now coming to the genital type of the virus, the worst thing it can cause in patients is blisters, sores in the genitals which would be easily dealt with the use of antiviral medications such as valacyclovir. Usually, a single course of valacyclovir would suppress the virus for several months or years. Only in a small group is the regular daily use of the drug required (those patients who have frequent outbreaks). Usually, when someone gets the virus they will have it for their entire life, it cannot be killed off completely but as I said it can be suppressed for several years.

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Dr. Muneeb Ali
Category: Medical
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