Wednesday, March 16, 2011

What Is HSV-2

There are two viruses:HSV-1:Herpes simplex virus type 1 and  (HSV-2)Herpes simplex virus type 2 .
HSV-2,which causes most cases of genital herpes. andt it can be spread through secretions from the mouth or genitals

Genital HSV-2 infections is more common in women (approximately 1 of every 4 women is infected) than it is in men (nearly 1 of every 8 men is infected).Many people with HSV-2 infection never have sores, or they have very mild symptoms that they do not even notice or mistake for insect bites or another skin condition.

Occasionally, primary HSV-2 infection can lead to inflammation of the membranes of the brain or spinal cord (meningitis) or to retention of urine in the bladder. Such complications have been reported to be somewhat more common in women.

Not all HSV-2 infected patients will suffer from recurrent genital herpes. If reactivation results in clinical symptoms, it is more limited than in primary infection with fewer and more localized lesions, less inflammation, and quicker healing. Recurrent genital herpes may even occur as a limited patch of blisters on the buttock or on the loins.

Complications. Recurrent HSV-2 infection may, in rare instances, occur as recurrent meningitis (Mollaret’s meningitis), which is a self limiting condition. It may also appear as recurrent numbness and tingling in the lower extremities and, rarely, in paralysis of the bladder and the lower extremities (transverse myelitis).

HSV-2 can reactivate from its dormant state without producing clinical symptoms and result in viral shedding. Studies have shown that this may occur in almost 40% of HSV-2 infected people. Viral shedding occurs over a 1-5 day period. As there are no symptoms associated with this phenomenon, the patient will be unaware of it. We only know the average duration of each period of viral shedding through laboratory studies, where volunteers have been monitored for virus over long periods of time.

Sexual partners may become infected during episodes of asymptomatic shedding, as the infected person is unaware of the shedding and may not take any precautions against transmission.


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