Herpes simplex is a viral disease that is caused by Herpes simplex viruses. There are
two types of herpes simplex viruses- simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus 2
(HSV-2). The herpes virus is categorized into one of severeal distinct groups of disorders
based on where the infection is. Oral herpes, the symptons that are very visible that can be
best referred to as 'cold sores', infects the face and mouth. Oral herpes is the most common of
the infection. The infection of the genitals is commonly known as genital herpes and it is the
second most common form of this infection. Other disorders include herpetic whitlow -which
is a lesion on a finger (commonly comes about by chewing or sucking on fingers), herpes
gladitorium- which is a skin infection that is transmissable by skin to skin contact, ex.contact
sports, ocular herpes, encephalitis- acute inflammation of the brain- caused by bacterial
infection or may be complication of rabies or syphillis, Mollaret's meningitis- inflammation of
the protective membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord.
The viruses cycle between periods of active disease that present themselves as blisters
which last about 2-21 days, followed by a period called remission where the sores disappear.
Genital herpes, however, is often more symptomatic. Viral shedding may also occur where the
virus starts to leave the cell. The viruses then move to sensory nerves where they become life-
Herpes simplex is most easily transmitted by direct contact with a lesion or the body
fluid of an infected person. Transmission also occurs through skin- to- skin contact. Poor
hygiene, overcrowding, lower socioeconomic status, and birth in an undeveloped country add
to the increase in HSV-1 for childhood infections.
The cause of reactivation of herpes is uncertain, but several triggers have been
documented. Changes in the immune system during menstruation...