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- Nurse Barb
If you or someone you care about is concerned that they may have herpes, then you know that it can be a very worrisome time with a long list of questions. What makes it even more difficult is that you might be hearing conflicting and confusing information.
Several types of Herpes
What makes it more confusing is that there are several Herpes Simples Viruses (HSV), including the type that causes Chickenpox and Shingles.
Testing for Herpes when symptoms are present
If there are visible or active symptoms, such as sores, small bumps, crusted over lesions or small tears in the skin, then a healthcare provider can do a swab of the area and send it out for a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction ) evaluation. This is the most accurate way to test because it looks for the viral DNA, which is present even after a few days of symptoms. We don’t use cultures any more because they are not as reliable.
I was just drinking my coffee this morning and got a frantic call from a friend. He just met someone who is fabulous and he’s very attracted to her, there’s just one complication. She told him she has herpes and he’s petrified. Now what? He doesn’t want to risk getting the infection.
Help! My new boyfriend or girlfriend has Herpes
This is a scenario that gets repeated thousands of times every day. So if you’re in this situation, you’re not alone and here’s what you need to know. (more…)
Did you know that for a significant percentage of people with Bells Palsy that the symptoms are caused by the Herpes Virus? That’s right, Herpes Simplex Virus type 1, HSV-1, is associated with up to 80% of cases of Bells Palsy. The virus attacks the facial nerve and causes inflammation and paralysis. The person is unable to move many of the muscles in the cheek, lip, eyelid and forehead which results in a drooping of that side of the face.
2nd Case of Shingles?
I’ve heard from lots of patients who have had a 2nd bout of Shingles. This was always puzzling to me since the common wisdom held that shingles almost never came back. How could it be that so many of my patients had experienced another episode. In the past, we thought that shingles rarely recurs, and now new data is busting that myth.
Research has shown that treatment of herpes shortly after diagnosis can better suppress future outbreaks. In this study, 384 patients that had been newly diagnosed with genital herpes were randomly assigned one gram per day of valacyclovir, also known as Valtrex. (more…)
Brittany and Tom sat in my office holding hands. They looked a little worried and yet were interested in finding out more information about how to prevent Tom from passing Herpes on to Brittany. They were both in their late 20’s and been together for about 6 months and so far, so good, she had not become infected, which was reassuring, but they wanted to do everything they could to prevent a future transmission.
We know that women are 6 to 7 times more likely than men to become infected with herpes.
A new report by the WHO (World Health Organization) estimates that worldwide up to 28 % of women will be infected with Herpes by age 50! Here in the US, studies have found that in general between 20 -25% of women are infected, with 90% being unaware that they have this particular infection.
Unfortunately, Cold Sores are Herpes. Most of the time, it’s Type 1 herpes.
How Common Is It?
If you get cold sores, you’re in good company. Between 60-80% of people worldwide have been the antibody to Type 1 herpes.