Don’t kiss Me I Have Herpes!
Oral Herpes is a form of Herpes caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or less commonly by herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). It is very common, 50 to 80 percent of adults in the United States are infected. Typically, oral herpes is contacted as children, when they kiss or come in contact with relatives or friends who are infected.
The incubation period of oral herpes usually takes place between 2-12 days after the first contact. The symptoms “ mouth sores, fever, muscle ache, and fatigue “ may last for 2-3 weeks. The infected area usually experiences pain such as burning and itching. Blister may break and look like gray reddish sores which will turn yellow and scabbed after a few days.
The lips, inside the mouth, gums, tongue, the roof of the mouth, throat, and the inside of the cheeks can also be infected with sores which makes food and drink intake painful. Sores can also appear on the chin and down to the neck. Lymph nodes in the neck may also be swollen.
Oral Herpes is The Simplex Virus – Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention
You can catch oral herpes if you have direct contact with an open area or through contact with infected mucous tissue. In rare occasion, performing oral sex with a person who has genital herpes can pass the virus to the individual, causing oral herpes.
Oral herpes can be diagnosed through several tests. One is taking a sample from the sore to identify if it is indeed herpes. Other tests include culture analysis, Tzanck smear (a staining test), and blood sampling to identify anti-bodies.
There is not yet a cure for oral herpes but it can be treatment to lessen the pain of the sores and also to help prevent the frequency of the attacks. Antiviral medications are used. These can come in pill form. There are also topical antiviral medications such as acyclovir ointment and penciclovir cream which can help to accelerate healing and decrease attacks.
There are cases, such as the first attack of oral herpes, where the individual may need to be under constant care as the symptoms are more severe. If the infected person has fever or other flu-like symptoms in addition to dehydration, it is best that he or she is brought to the hospital for proper care.
Other complications for infected people may also occur such as the spreading of the virus to the other organs, or as mentioned above, when individuals become dehydrated. In instances where infants contact the virus, they also need hospital care.
Infected individuals should take necessary precaution such as consistent medication, vigilance in watching out for the next outbreak, and avoid contacting other people when there are active outbreaks. Safe sex measures such as wearing condoms will also help make sexual activity safer and therefore prevent transfer. People with oral herpes should also be careful with person to person contact during non-active periods, as the virus can also be spread then. Since most of the cases of oral herpes infection happen before adulthood, infected people would do well to take care when they are in contact with children.