Herpes is an infectious disease caused by Herpes Simplex Viruses 1 and 2. It develops in two forms, as oral and genital Herpes Simplex infection. Basically the symptoms are specific for both of the types but differ in case of the first attack and the recurrence of the disease. They are more intense in the outbreak of the disease. Still no symptoms are present in the first attack in most of the cases. This does not mean these people are not contagious. On the contrary being infected and not knowing about it may only lead to higher rate of transmission.
Symptoms of Genital Herpes
The first attack happens usually 1 to 2 weeks after the exposure to the virus. If there are symptoms they include tingling sensation in the affected area and clusters of small red bulges which very soon turn into blisters. These changes may occur around genitalia, on buttock and even on thighs. The blisters eventually burst. At that point open sores become extremely painful. New blisters tend to appear after the old ones have burst. The open sores dry and a crust develops. Except for pain the changes can itch. Additionally accompanying symptoms and signs may include discomfort, headache, and pain in muscles, fever and swollen glands of groin area. The problems with passing urine may occur and in women vaginal discharge is present. Unlike the outbreak of the disease recurrences are quite mild. Women may feel slight itching or discomfort. In time recurrences are less frequent comparing to the first year after the outbreak when there can be 4 additional attacks. In case of Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 recurrence rate is higher.
Symptoms of Oral Herpes
This form of disease is mainly caused by Herpes Simplex Virus type 1. The lips are the common place of the lesions but the mucous membranes may be affected as well. Cheeks and nose are rarely the predilection places. During the first attack if there are any evident symptoms they include blisters. In case of blister forming within the mouth there are accompanying signs such as hypersalivation and problems with swallowing. Pain is so intensive that patients sometimes cannot eat or drink. Due to moisture conditions within the mouth the healing of the burst blisters takes longer (around 3-14 days) than that in genital area. Additionally fever, pain in surrounding muscles or enlarged lymph nodes of the neck may occur. As for recurrence the blisters reappear approximately twice within the first year. In case of Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 the recurrence rate is much higher. If the disease comes back its symptoms are not so severe as during the outbreak. The blisters usually develop in case a person gets ill from flue or common cold. Any condition that leads to deficiency of immune system triggers the formation of the blisters. The lips are the common place of blisters in cases of recurrence.