Herpes, a STD (Socially Transmitted Disease) which catches people unaware is a silentÂ viral disease. One in five Americans has genital herpes but only 20% of those affectedÂ are aware of it. 1 Herpes viruses are a leading cause of human viral disease, second onlyÂ to influenza and cold viruses. There is yet a cure to be found for this disease althoughÂ treatment is available to reduce the symptoms of this disease and decrease the risk ofÂ transmission.
1. Herpes was a known disease from ancient Greek times. Named herpein meaning ‘˜toÂ creep’ with reference to the creeping expanding cutaneous skin. There is alsoÂ mention of Hippocrates discussing symptoms of herpes.
2. There are 3 stages in the development of herpes. The first is the primary stage whenÂ blisters which progress into sores, appear 2-8 days after infection. The second is theÂ latent stage when the virus moves to the nerves and lie low. The third stage knownÂ as shedding is when the virus multiplies and presents itself in body fluids. This isÂ when transmission to another person occurs.3
3. Herpes virus transmits through broken skin such as tears and cuts. The virus cannotÂ enter through skin that is unbroken. One way of transmission is by touching the fluidÂ from a herpes infection and then touching a tear on one’s own skin.
4. There are two types of herpes: Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV-1) which occurs on theÂ mouth or lips and Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV-2) which occurs on the genitals.
5. There are alternate medicines for the treatment of herpes. This includes the IndianÂ research which has named 2 plants, H. mysorense and H. hookerianum, as beingÂ able to suppress herpes (HSV-1) infection. 4
6. Other forms of alternate medicine include Herpes nosodes, Monolaurin, OliveÂ Leave, Andrographis and Lysine.8.
7. Research has indicated a causal relationship between HSV-1 and a cognitiveÂ decline leading to Alzheimer’s disease.9 It has been found that during the thirdÂ stage of the infection, the herpes virus leaves the host cells of the mucous membraneÂ and enters sensory nerve cells where they are transmitted to the brain.
8. Herpes Whitlow(lesions) occurs when the herpes virus spreads to a torn skin in theÂ fingers either from contact within one’s own body or a person having herpes . ThoseÂ commonly afflicted were health workers before glove-wearing became compulsoryÂ and children. About 60% of cases are caused by HSV-1 whereas 40% by HSV-2.
9. Chickenpox and shingles are caused by variations of the herpes virus called herpesÂ zoster virus or human herpes virus-3.
10. Skin lesions as a result of HSV-2 are a vulnerable risk for more dangerous diseasesÂ such as HIV which causes AIDS and syphilis.