Herpes: How do You Catch it?
Herpes is very easy to catch. There are several types of Herpes and
the most common are:
- Herpes Simplex 1 and 2 - Oral & Genital Herpes
- Varicella Herpes Zoster - chickenpox & shingles
This article will give you an overview of how each herpes virus is contracted.
Herpes Simplex 1 is usually caught via close skin contact, for
example kissing. Herpes Simplex 2 is usually caught via sexual
activities. Herpes Simplex 1 causes Oral Herpes or cold sores and
Herpes Simplex 2 causes Genital Herpes. Both types of Herpes
have been known to transfer to other parts of the body and
also to be highly contagious. Both types
also result in repetitive outbreaks but may also be latent
Herpes is mainly contagious when there is an outbreak. However
the period just before is also a substantial risk period. It is also possible
to spread Herpes even if you have never had an outbreak although this is rarer.
Varicella Herpes Zoster spreads via the humidity in
the air and
is very easy to catch. Sneezing is a typical way of spreading
Herpes Zoster. It causes chickenpox
in children and shingles in seniors, both of which usually result
in one outbreak per lifespan.
Once you have caught a Herpes virus it is for life. The body cannot
dispose of this virus and there is no cure for it. It is estimated
that 50-80 % of the world's population have a Herpes virus but many
don't even know it. This is one of the reasons Herpes spreads so
Preventing the Spread of Herpes
To prevent spreading Herpes it is important to keep good hygiene
standards. If you have Herpes you should:
- Avoid sexual activity during an outbreak
- Avoid touching the affected area when you have an outbreak
- Wash your hands regularly
- Hold your hands over your mouth when you sneeze
- Do not share drinks, or food
- Do not share towels or other similar items
- Tell your partner that you have Herpes.
But most importantly you should SEE A DOCTOR for diagnosis, advice and
prescription medication. Antiviral treatment will lower the risk of
Common Treatments for Herpes
For Oral Herpes you may use a cream containing either
Acyclovir or Penciclovir. The most common brands are Zovirax and Vectavir.
They are available without a prescription.
For Genital Herpes you should take either Acyclovir,
Famciclovir or Valacyclovir. They are all prescription drugs and your doctor will
decide which one is suitable for you.
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- Herpes Viruses: