Oral Herpes Causes

Herpes is a common term used to indicate diseases caused by a group of similar viruses including varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox, Epstein-Barr virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus that causes immunological disorders and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) that causes genital and oral infections.

Cause of Infection: There are two different types of Herpes Simplex Virus, namely HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes oral herpes and HSV-2 infection results in formation of blisters around the genitals. Cross-infections can happen among sexual partners having oral-genital relationships.

Mode of Transmission: One important mode of transmission of the virus is through oral sex. The virus can get transmitted if one performs oral sex in spite of not having cuts, injuries or bleeding gums inside the mouth.

Symptoms: Typical incubation period of the virus inside the body is between 2-12 days. In case of a primary infection, initial symptoms include fever, muscle aches and irritability. As the infection spreads, intense pain along with burning, tingling and severe itching sensation occurs around the lips and oral mucosa. This is followed by formation of tiny, clear, fluid-filled painful blisters on the face, lips or under the nose. These blisters gradually ulcerate and become crusted. Another important indication of oral herpes is formation of cold sores on the lips, gums, tongue, inside the cheeks, throat and the roof of the mouth. These sores are highly painful and make eating and drinking difficult. Even the lymph nodes around the neck become swollen due to infection and cause pain.

Treatment: Specific treatment methods include usage of anti-viral drugs such as Zovirax, Valtrex and Famvir. Topical antiviral creams containing acyclovir or pencicolor are also available for reducing the symptoms and lesions caused by the virus. Along with these, there are certain non-specific treatments that need to be followed during an oral herpes infection. Erupted blisters must be cleaned using an anti-bacterial solution and dried. One should refrain from touching the sores as they are the most potent cause of transmitting a herpes infection. It is important to drink plenty of fluids so as to prevent dehydration.

Herpes is a common term used to indicate diseases caused by a group of similar viruses including varicella-zoster virus that causes chicken pox, Epstein-Barr virus that causes infectious mononucleosis, cytomegalovirus that causes immunological disorders and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) that causes genital and oral infections.

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