Because Life is not fair

Herpes labialis is a unique virus with two forms, Herpes simplex 1 and 2. Both are caused by contact with a carrier of the virus. Herpes simplex 1 is considered to be an oral strand of the disease while Herpes simplex 2 is thought to be a genital strand or a sexual transmitted disease.

Essentially, herpes is as contagious as you want it to be. Herpes simplex 1 is usually transmitted from an adult to an infant and the child lives with the virus their entire life. Generally when people think about herpes, they think of Herpes simplex 2. Being a sexually transmitted disease, it mostly depends on how many sexual encounters a person has. Forms of contraception such as condoms and abstinence can help prevent the spread of genital herpes.


Many people who get the virus that causes herpes never see or feel anything. If signs (what you see) or symptoms (what you feel) occur, a person may experience:

  • Tingling, itching, or burning: Before the blisters appear, the skin may tingle, itch, or burn for a day or so.
  • Sores: One or more painful, fluid-filled blisters may appear. Blisters break open and often ooze fluid and form a crust, before healing. The first time sores appear, they will show up between 2 and 20 days after a person has contact with an infected person. The sores can last from 7 to 10 days. Where the sores appear often varies with type:

    • Oral herpes (HSV-1): Most blisters appear on the lips or around the mouth. Sometimes blisters form on the face or on the tongue. Although these are the most common places to find oral herpes, the sores can appear anywhere on the skin.
    • Genital herpes (HSV-2): Sores typically occur on the penis, vagina, buttocks, or anus. Women can have sores inside the vagina. Like oral herpes, these sores can appear anywhere on the skin.
    • Flu-like symptoms. Fever, muscle aches, or swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck (oral herpes) or groin (genital herpes) are possible.
    • Problems urinating. People (most often women) with genital herpes may have trouble urinating or have a burning feeling while urinating.
    • An eye infection (herpes keratitis). Sometimes the herpes simplex virus can spread to one or both eyes. If this happens, you can have pain, light sensitivity, discharge, and a gritty feeling in the eye. Without prompt treatment, scarring of the eye may result. Scarring can lead to cloudy vision and even loss of vision.

Diagnoses and Treatment

Typically, all that is required for testing for herpes is a visual examination by a doctor, however a blood test may also be done to verify the diagnoses. While there is no cure for herpes (genital herpes included) doctors may prescribe antiviral medication to minimize flair ups and reduce risk of infecting others.

Mortality Rate?

Fortunately, both strands of herpes are not lethal in any way. Even without a cure, it is possible for a person to live a fairly normal and happy life. So go forth, be merry, and live a happy herpes-filled life!

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