Herpes simplex

Herpes simplex
The herpes infection is a viral disease causing chronic recurrent skin rashes and carried by the herpes simplex virus. It is also the leading cause of genital ulcers mainly in Europe. Genital herpes facilitates the transmission of the AIDS virus.

Affection and recurrent painful genital herpes is neonatal herpes responsible formidable.

This disease, lived uneasily in any form whatsoever, can never be completely cured and therefore requires the holder to take precautions, including outside attacks (there are potentially infectious).

Herpes is a disease is considered benign in healthy subjects, it can be very serious in people with impaired immune systems, infants or pregnant women.


* The herpes virus, herpes simplex virus (HSV) belongs to the family Herpesviridae. This family also includes the varicella-zoster virus, and cytomegalovirus (or HHV-5), and Epstein-Barr virus.
* The herpes virus (HSV) has two types:
No HSV-1 accounts for 95% of oral-facial herpes, and herpes many neuro-meningeal and ophthalmic. According to studies he is also responsible for 20-40% of genital herpes by oral genital infection.
No HSV-2 primarily responsible for genital herpes, but 5% of oral-facial herpes.

The HSV-2 generally give rise to more recurrences than HSV-1, but the primary infection is more symptomatic.

* Persistent throughout life despite the immune response during primary infection
* The HSV dermoneurotropes are viruses such as varicella, they persist lifelong in the trigeminal ganglion for orofacial manifestations and lymph sacred events anal, genital and buttocks.

Contamination is strictly inter-human for both viral types.

Over 90% of adults have been in contact with HSV. However, only a small proportion of these individuals will develop symptoms.

It seems that it is possible to be in contact with the virus without being infected, but the contagion is very strong, much stronger than for HIV.

The prevalence of herpes labialis is 80-90% of the total adult population.

Most children under 2 years are already infected because of kisses infected adults.

The oral-facial herpes which is the most common form of herpes (commonly called "cold sores" or "cold sores") is most often due to HSV1.

* Herpes labialis: 7-8 out of 10 primary goes unnoticed. Transmission occurs through direct contact with a person excretory virus, it can be excretory virus one to two days before the blisters appear and up to one week after their disappearance (viral shedding, symptomatic) . An infected person can also transmit the virus without having thrust = herpes asymptomatic virus secretion that is present on the skin without causing gall.

* Genital herpes : Transmission is by direct contact with a subject excreting HSV. Here asymptomatic viral shedding plays an important role, indeed symptomatic individuals abstain from sex because of pain. The prevalence of genital herpes by about 20%.

The virus enters the organism occurs during a contact with an infected person (even if no cutaneous) viruses penetrate the host when there is a gap mucocutaneous, and will multiply in epithelial cells where they are responsible for cell degeneration with ballooning nonspecific. These mechanisms may be the cause of the manifestations of primary herpes infection. In a second step, the virus will reach the ganglion corresponding to the infected area, centripetally, in "up" along the sensory nerves. Finally, the herpes recurrences occur when, in response to physical stress or psychological variable, viruses returning the skin to develop it again. These episodes are more or less frequently from one individual to another, and of varying intensity, but fixed in their topography.

Oral infection
It's the classic cold sore which is transmitted primarily by oral contact. Gives partial protection against HSV-2.

The most common form is the form lip. It evolves through several stages:

1. Preliminary signs: itching, feeling there was a slight swelling, redness ...
2. Papules: lip swells locally (sometimes a big part of the lip swollen for a few days before they find) and blushed.
3. Ripening Papules: papules become blisters and then the vesicles containing a clear liquid. The vesicles then eventually burst, releasing the liquid. At that time, the virus being released, the risk of contamination is highest.
4. Drying: after bursting the vesicles giving way to often painful wounds (burns) and then dry quickly enough to form scabs disappear in a few days.

Access herpes labialis lasts 8-15 days. The disease is contagious at all times, but even more so when the lesions are still present (including the form of crusts, that we should not touch, which may bleed slightly but it is visible).

Basic precautions to be taken
Hygiene precautions are essential to reduce the risk of contamination, and must be respected both by the patients as the surroundings, even in the absence of visible crisis. These precautions also help reduce the risk of self-inoculation, which may bring the virus in very sensitive areas (or ocular herpes, with serious consequences).

These measures may appear cumbersome in everyday life: yet they remain the only way to avoid the disease, which can sometimes have dramatic consequences. Indeed, the simple cold sore can develop into more serious forms, a simple progression of the virus, or self-contamination of other areas of the body. Many people ignore these instructions or do not want to put them into practice, which explains that the virus is so widespread.
Some people are more at risk than others: immunocompromised, newborns, pregnant women, atopic dermatitis. Any person affected, although the disease is limited at the moment to simple cold sores, is contaminated and must take the following precautions to protect its environment:

* Wash hands thoroughly and regularly, especially after contact with the lesion (without scratching) do it with even more attention if we are going to touch food or dishes, or another person's personal affairs ( particularly business hygiene), although the virus retains its infectivity than two hours on a dry surface,
* Avoid using objects that have been in direct contact with saliva or mouth of an infected person,
* Avoid oral-genital sex to avoid transmitting herpes sores in the genital
* Separate towels,
* Do not touch your eyes (an automatic gesture fast enough for transmission), and of course, does not dampen his contact lenses with saliva (very direct risk of contamination),
* Do not scratch the lesions, and more generally, do not touch the infected area,
* If the movement is automatic, the habit of never touching the sores, and wash their hands (including nail) every time you are doing it,
* Keep affected areas as clean and dry as possible and do not squeeze under clothing too close to the body,
* Avoid contact with a newborn (his immune system is still fragile)
* If cold sores (even beginners or almost finished), avoid kissing, including the cheeks, and until the lesions are completely dry.

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