Orofacial herpes simplex virus is the medical name for herpes simplex infection of the mouth and face, also known as cold sores or fever blisters. These are common, contagious sores that usually occur on the inner and outer lips but can also be spread to the fingers and other body parts. There are 2 major strains of herpes simplex virus (HSV): herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). In general, cold sores and fever blisters are caused by HSV-1, and genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. HSV-1 is not a sexually transmitted disease, though HSV-2 is. There is no cure for either strain of the virus, and once a person is infected, he/she is contagious for life.Fever blisters and cold sores look like small open sores, usually appearing on the corners of the mouth or inside the lips. They are often painful when the sores are open, and before they appear, some people experience a tingling sensation that indicates that the cold sore is on its way. Once a person has a cold sore at one location, he/she is more likely to get another in the same location at another time. Cold sores and fever blisters can be spread by kissing or sharing intimate objects such as toothbrushes, lip balms, utensils, or towels.Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 are very contagious. However, only about 20% of people exposed to either virus will experience the associated sores. This means that the majority of people carrying the virus do not know it. For this reason, it is important to protect yourself by knowing your sexual partners and by avoiding contact with others' intimate items. There is no cure for either strain of HSV. People who struggle with frequent outbreaks of sores often learn specific triggers that bring the sores on and can take medicines or use treatments to help lessen the attacks.
Genital herpes is a recurrent, lifelong skin infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). There are 2 types of HSV: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Genital herpes is usually caused by HSV-2 but can occasionally be due to HSV-1. Herpes lesions on the face, sometimes referred to as cold sores, are primarily due to HSV-1. HSV infections are contagious and are spread to other people by skin-to-skin contact with the infected area.Both types of HSV produce 2 kinds of infections: primary and recurrent. Because it is so contagious, HSV causes a primary infection in most people who are exposed to the virus. However, only about 20% of people who are infected with HSV actually develop visible blisters or sores. Appearing 5–6 days after a person's first exposure to HSV, the sores of a primary infection last about 2–6 weeks. These sores heal completely, rarely leaving a scar. Nevertheless, the virus remains in the body, hibernating in nerve cells.Certain triggers can cause the hibernating virus to wake up, become active, and travel back to the skin, causing a recurrent infection. These outbreaks tend to be milder than primary infections and generally occur in the same location as the primary infection. The frequency of recurrence is unpredictable and tends to become less over time.
The first eruption of skin or mouth sores with the herpes simplex virus (HSV) is called primary herpes. This may be more severe than the more commonly recognized than secondary, or recurrent, herpes infections, which are also called cold sores or fever blisters.Either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) can cause infection. HSV-1 is the most common cause of lesions that appear around the mouth and on the lips. HSV-2 is the typical cause of genital herpes. Both conditions are highly contagious and are spread by direct contact with the lesions of another infected individual such as a playmate, parent, or caretaker. The virus can even spread in the absence of symptoms or visible lesions.The attacks of both forms of HSV usually recur in the same skin region, and most individuals report burning, itching, and a tingling sensation before the actual lesions appear.HSV can occur on virtually any body surface.The primary episode usually heals in 7–10 days. Once a person is infected, the virus tends to stay hidden in the body (latent) lifelong.
Anthrax is a disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis, a bacterium that has the ability to form spores; spores are cells that are essentially dormant (asleep) but may become active under certain conditions. Anthrax disease can take 3 forms:Involving the skin (cutaneous) – 20% mortality Involving the lungs (inhalational) – 90% mortality Involving the digestive system (gastrointestinal) – 100% mortalityThe vast majority of cases of anthrax (95%) are cutaneous. As a naturally occurring disease, anthrax is very rare. However, it has the potential to be used as a weapon of bioterrorism; this occurred in 2001 with an attack on the United States via the US Postal service. Anthrax was mixed in powder that was put into letters and packages and sent to prominent US figures, including senators. A number of people contracted cutaneous or inhalational anthrax from exposure to the powder, and some people died. If there were to be future attacks on the US using anthrax, it would probably be disseminated as an aerosol, and the resulting cases would be inhalational anthrax.
Valentine’s Day has arrived! Whether you embrace this day or cringe at the mere mention of it, we can all agree that romantic relationships play a huge role in our emotional and physical well-being. Just one encounter with an infected partner can affect our lives and health forever. No matter what your relationship status is, everyone can benefit from a little education on sexually transmitted diseases.
Got canker sores? Isn’t it incredibly lame when you get one? Or worse, two? Can’t enjoy food…can’t enjoy a romantic kiss…generally ruin your life for a week? Did you ever wonder what causes them? And why have you never heard about a treatment for them that really works?