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Herpes - Triggers, Pregnancy and Cure

Updated: Friday, Aug 19,2011, 5:15:29 PM
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What triggers a herpes outbreak?

A number of factors can trigger herpes outbreaks, including:



    illness or fever;

    certain types of foods or beverages (including peanuts, alcohol and coffee).

Can Herpes Cause Other Health Problems?

Although genital herpes usually causes mild symptoms, it is possible that some people have painful genital ulcers and if recurrent, can be particularly serious in people whose immune system is impaired. This is especially significant in people suffering from immunosuppressive conditions like HIV. Herpes, like other STDs increases the risk of transmitting or acquiring HIV infection.

How Dangerous is Herpes During Pregnancy?

The mother can pass herpes to her baby. The risk of transmission is higher if the initial infection occurs around the time of delivery. The virus is transmitted to the baby in utero or during passage through an infected birth canal. A first infection during pregnancy increases the risk of spontaneous abortion, decreased fetal growth and preterm labor. About 50% of children born to infected mothers through a normal vaginal delivery become infected with herpes.

When a woman has a flare-up of genital herpes at the time of delivery, it is usually recommended to deliver the baby by Caesarean section to prevent transmission of herpes to the baby.

From 30 to 60% of children infected with herpes at birth die during the first month of life. Those who survive suffer from long-term complications such as mental retardation and seizures. To prevent transmission of the virus to their babies, pregnant women should discuss any history of herpes with their healthcare provider and take appropriate measures to prevent infection during pregnancy.

How Can Herpes Infection Be Diagnosed?

Herpes is diagnosed by analyzing a sample of the ulcer or gall. There is no blood test that has been determined to be is easily accessible and safe to test for the virus. It is very difficult to make a definite diagnosis for asymptomatic individuals.

Is There a Cure For Herpes?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for genital herpes. Once a person is infected, he/she carries the virus for life. There are antiviral drugs and ointments (such as acyclovir) that reduce the severity of symptoms, duration of active illness and frequency of recurrent outbreaks. Infected people can also avoid some of the known causes of rash to prevent recurrent attacks. During a flare, it is possible to relieve the symptoms by keeping the area clean and dry, taking pain relievers (like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen). Genital Herpes is usually treated symptomatically. It has been found that sitting in the bathtub with warm water to the hips can be an effective way to deal with the itchiness and pain.

Precautions You Need to Take if You Have Herpes

Do not scratch the lesions. However, it is sometimes difficult to prevent children from touching the lesions. Do not touch your eyes. A person with active herpes infection should avoid touching young children.

It is imperative to avoid contact with people who have eczema. They might experience a significant worsening of their condition. If you have Herpes, you should also stay away from immunocompromised people, as these can be very vulnerable to different types of infections.

Tags: pregnancy Herpes

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