Definition Herpes simplex is a viral infection that mainly affects the mouth or genital area. Causes, incidence, and risk factors There are two strains of herpes simplex viruses: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is the most common herpes simplex virus and many people develop it in childhood. HSV-1 often causes sores (lesions) inside the mouth, such as cold sores (fever blisters), or infection of the eye (especially the conjunctiva and cornea). It can also lead to infection of the lining of the brain (meningoencephalitis). It is transmitted by contact with infected saliva. By adulthood, 30 - 90% of people will have antibodies to HSV-1. The likelihood of childhood infection is higher among those with lower socioeconomic status. Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is usually sexually transmitted. Symptoms include genital ulcers or sores. However, some people with HSV-2 have no symptoms. Up to 30% of adults in the U.S. have a...
A newly concluded study conducted at the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical center offers hope to women living with
genital herpes who wish to bear children. Because there is a small
risk of passing the infection to a baby during the birth process,
many herpes-infected mothers have delivered their babies via
Caesarean section. For mothers experiencing herpes symptoms at the
time of delivery, a C-section is required. The results of this new
study, conducted with the participation of pharmaceutical
manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline, suggests that vaginal delivery may
now be an option for women not experiencing herpes symptoms at the
time of birth.
The danger of infection results from what doctors refer to
asymptomatic shedding, a term that describes the
ability of those infected with herpes to transmit the virus even
when they are not experiencing symptoms. In the case of pregnant
women, this shedding can often take place in either the birth canal
or the genital region, pla...
Serum herpes simplex antibodies is a blood test that looks for antibodies to the herpes simplex virus.
See also: Herpes viral culture of lesion
How the test is performed
Blood is drawn from a vein, usually from the inside of the elbow or the back of the hand. The site is cleaned with germ-killing medicine (antiseptic). The health care provider wraps an elastic band around the upper arm to apply pressure to the area and make the vein swell with blood.
Next, the health care provider gently inserts a needle into the vein. The blood collects into an airtight vial or tube attached to the needle. The elastic band is removed from your arm.
Once the blood has been collected, the needle is removed, and the puncture site is covered to stop any bleeding.
In infants or young children, a sharp tool called a lancet may be used to puncture the skin and make it bleed. The blood collects into a small glass tube ca...
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