herpes simplex


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Related to herpes simplex: herpes simplex 1, herpes simplex 2, herpes zoster, Cold sores

herpes

 [her´pēz]
any inflammatory skin disease caused by a herpesvirus and characterized by formation of small vesicles in clusters. When used alone the term may refer to either herpes simplex or herpes zoster.
herpes cor´neae herpetic inflammation involving the cornea.
herpes febri´lis a variety of herpes simplex usually found on or around the lips and nostrils but occasionally on other mucoid tissues. It is generally caused by human herpesvirus 1, although occasionally it may be caused by human herpesvirus 2. It is usually a concomitant of fever, but may also develop in situations of other stresses without fever or prior illness. The virus is carried by most people but usually lies quiescent. There is no cure for the condition, but some medications increase comfort. Antiviral medications used in this way include acyclovir and valacyclovir. Called also fever blisters and cold sores.
genital herpes (herpes genita´lis) herpes simplex of the genitals, a common sexually transmitted disease, usually caused by human herpesvirus 2 but occasionally by human herpesvirus 1. If it is present at term in the pregnant female, it may lead to infection of the neonate (see maternal herpes).

The incidence of active genital herpes is difficult to determine precisely because many cases present mild symptoms, are self-limiting, and are not called to the attention of health care personnel. However, it is clear that the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. It is highly contagious and is transmitted by direct person-to-person contact (not limited to sexual contact). Autoinoculation via the hands is possible; for example, from a lip ulcer to the genital area or from the lip or genitals to the eye. Once the virus gains access to the body it enters the nervous system and invades nerve cells located near the site of infection, such as in the sacral ganglia. The virus lies dormant in nerve cells and can remain there indefinitely, predisposing the person to recurrent outbreaks. Factors contributing to recurrent genital herpes are not well understood. Some infected persons experience no recurrences while others have frequent and severe outbreaks. Many patients are aware of a correlation between the appearance of lesions and precipitating factors such as exposure to sunlight, local trauma, fever, or emotional stress. Hormonal changes preceding menses have been associated with recurrences in women.
Diagnosis and Symptomatology. Diagnosis is most often based on the patient's history and symptoms, which are easily recognized by an experienced clinician. Clinical and serological findings help establish whether the patient's complaints are manifestations of a primary infection or an initial phase of a recurrent episode. At the primary or first exposure to the virus, the typical cutaneous lesions may or may not be present and no antibodies to the virus are found in the patient's serum. The presence of such antibodies at the time of an initial episode indicates a previous herpes infection. Since the virus dwells in the lesions and nerve cells and not in the blood, antibody titers, smears, and cultures taken from the lesions can be helpful in identifying the stage of the disease.

Typically, recurrent episodes become milder and less frequent; however, some patients may experience weekly or monthly outbreaks that are severe and painful. Those with recurrent herpes usually have high antibody titers. Paradoxically, it has been noted that the higher the antibody titer the more severe the symptoms and the more frequent the recurrences. Thus, it is apparent that the body's immune system is not effective in providing protection against herpes infection or in mitigating its effects.

A genital rash and mild itching usually are the earliest signs of infection. Eventually vesicles on the surface of the skin form, and then enlarge, break open, and ulcerate. The lesions are painful, especially during coitus, and can cause intense itching, and, if the urethra is involved, painful urination. The disease affects both sexes. In the male, vesicles are found principally on the glans penis, shaft of the penis, and prepuce, and may extend to the scrotum and inner thighs. In the female, vesicular eruptions usually involve the vulva, vagina, and cervix, and may extend to the perineum, inner thighs, and buttocks. Lesions of the cervix can vary from small superficial ulcers with diffuse inflammation to a single, large, necrotic ulcer. Other symptoms include malaise, fever, and anorexia. There also can be involvement of neural structures and the manifestation of neurologic symptoms. The characteristic lesions usually last from one to three weeks in either the initial stage or during periodic outbreaks.
Treatment. At the present time there is no cure for genital herpes. (A vaccine to prevent the development of herpes is under active development.) Antivirals such as acyclovir and valacyclovir help shorten episodes during the initial phase of infection, but do not cure it. Palliative treatment consists of measures to keep lesions clean and dry, to control pain with an analgesic, to promote healing with frequent sitz baths, and to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
Complications and Sequelae. A primary herpetic infection usually is self-limiting, and, barring secondary infection and neurologic damage, immediate complications are rare. In some instances the infection may be complicated by urethral stricture, meningoencephalitis, labial fusion, or lymphatic suppuration. Although there is no conclusive evidence that herpesvirus infection actually leads to cervical cancer, women with genital herpes are eight times more likely to develop carcinoma in situ than are those whose serum lacks antibodies to the virus.
Patient Care. Probably the greatest needs of patients with herpes are accurate information and support and counseling to help them cope with the emotional impact and fears about the disease and its effects. The palliative treatments presented above can provide symptomatic relief. In addition, the patient should be told to try to keep the lesions clean and dry. Loose cotton clothing avoids trapping moisture in the genital area. The person should not use perfumed soaps or sprays, and women should not use feminine deodorants or douches. Management of stress can be important in controlling symptoms; ineffective or harmful coping mechanisms can aggravate the condition and delay healing. The emotional impact of genital herpes often is overwhelming to persons who learn they have the disease. Since there currently is no cure, preventive medication, or vaccine and the infection can be transmitted by intimate contact, patients often feel anger, guilt, fear, or anxiety.

Support groups can provide patients opportunities to ventilate their anger and talk about their guilt. In a group of persons with similar problems, they can learn that there are others who have had much the same feelings and have managed to work through them and develop a more positive attitude. The American Social Health Association (ASHA) sponsors self-help groups and provides educational materials; their address is P.O. Box 13827, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709.

Fear of cancer is very real in these patients; females are encouraged to have a Pap smear every six months. Early detection is almost guaranteed with such frequent examinations, and the cure rate in these cases is 100 per cent. Another source of anxiety for female patients is the effect of herpes on fertility and the welfare of infants born of mothers with herpes (see maternal herpes).
herpes labia´lis herpes febrilis affecting the vermilion boder of the lips.
maternal herpes active genital herpes during pregnancy and the perinatal period. Herpes infection during early pregnancy can result in a viral septicemia and spontaneous abortion. Infants born of mothers with active herpes during which there is shedding of the virus at the time of delivery are likely to become infected during a vaginal delivery. Of those who contract herpes from their mothers, about 50 per cent will not survive. Of the ones who do survive, half will suffer from permanent neurological or visual damage.

Protective measures such as cesarean section for delivery improve the chances of avoiding infection in the newborn. During the last trimester it is best if the woman abstains from sexual intercourse if there is any history of either partner having herpes. When there is such a history, it is recommended that frequent cervical viral cultures be done to determine whether vaginal delivery is safe.

With early diagnosis and cesarean section many infants can be protected from infection, but only if the membranes are intact or have been ruptured no more than 4 to 6 hours before the operation. After that length of time it is assumed that an ascending infection has reached the fetus. Mothers who have no active lesions at the time of birth and two negative cervical smears for the virus within a week of delivery can safely deliver their newborns vaginally.

Wound and skin precautions are followed in the care of the mother if she has recurrent herpes (see above). An isolation nursery and wound/skin precautions are recommended for newborns delivered (whether vaginally or by cesarean section) to women with active genital herpes. Some authorities recommend isolation precautions the entire time the newborn is in the hospital and until the incubation period of 21 days has passed.
progenital herpes (herpes progenita´lis) herpes genitalis.
herpes sim´plex an acute viral disease caused by a herpesvirus and marked by groups of vesicles on the skin, each about 3 to 6 mm in diameter. Type 1 herpes simplex, or herpes labialis, is usually found on the borders of the lips or nostrils and has been nicknamed “kissing herpes.” It may accompany fever (herpes febrilis or fever blisters), although there may also be other precipitating factors, such as the common cold, sunburn, skin abrasions, and emotional disturbances. Type 2 herpes simplex, or genital herpes, is usually found on or around the genital area. Infection of the newborn from a mother with the condition (see maternal herpes) has a fatality rate of 50 per cent and many survivors have significant neurological or ocular sequelae.
traumatic herpes (wrestler's herpes) a self-limiting cutaneous herpesvirus infection following trauma, the virus entering through burns or other wounds; the temperature rises moderately, and vesicles appear around the wound.
herpes zos´ter an acute viral disease caused by a herpesvirus (the same virus that causes chickenpox); characteristics include inflammation of spinal ganglia and a vesicular eruption along the area of distribution of a sensory nerve. Called also shingles and zoster. It may appear in persons who have been exposed to chickenpox, and it sometimes accompanies other diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and lymphoma or is triggered by trauma or injection of certain drugs. In some cases it appears without any apparent reason for activation.

Treatment is symptomatic and is aimed at relieving the pain and itching of the blisters. Local applications of calamine lotion or other lotions to dry the blisters may help. Herpes zoster is a very exhausting disease, especially for elderly people, because the constant itching and pain are difficult to control, even with systemic analgesics in some cases.

Herpes zoster affecting the eye causes severe conjunctivitis and possible ulceration and scarring of the cornea if not treated successfully.

Herpes zoster is a communicable disease and therefore requires some type of isolation, the specific precautions depending on whether the disease is localized or disseminated and also on the condition of the patient. Localized lesions in immunocompromised patients often become disseminated. Persons susceptible to varicella-zoster (chickenpox) should stay out of the patient's room. This includes hospital personnel as well as other patients. If there is any question as to the proper procedures for prevention of the spread of herpes zoster, the CDC Guidelines for Infection Control in Hospital Personnel should be consulted.
herpes zos´ter auricula´ris (herpes zos´ter o´ticus) Ramsay Hunt syndrome.

her·pes sim·plex

a variety of infections caused by herpesvirus types 1 and 2; type 1 infections are marked most commonly by the eruption of one or more groups of vesicles on the vermilion border of the lips or at the external nares, type 2 by such lesions on the genitalia; both types often are recrudescent and reappear during other febrile illnesses or even physiologic states such as menstruation. The viruses frequently become latent and may not be expressed for years.

herpes simplex

n.
1.
a. A recurrent viral infection caused by a herpesvirus, marked by the eruption of fluid-containing vesicles usually on the mouth, lips, and face.
b. The herpesvirus, designated herpes simplex type one, that causes this infection.
2.
a. A recurrent viral infection, caused by a herpesvirus, that is sexually transmitted and marked by the eruption of fluid-containing vesicles usually on the genitals.
b. The herpesvirus, designated herpes simplex type two, that causes this infection.

herpes simplex

Etymology: Gk, herpein + L, simplex, uncomplicated
an infection caused by a herpes simplex virus (HSV), which has an affinity for the skin and nervous system and usually produces small, transient, irritating, and sometimes painful fluid-filled blisters on the skin and mucous membranes. HSV1 (oral herpes, herpes labialis, cold sore) infections tend to occur in the facial area, particularly around the mouth and nose; HSV2 (herpes genitalis) infections are usually limited to the genital region.
observations The initial symptoms of an HSV1 infection usually include burning, tingling, or itching sensations about the edges of the lips or nose within 1 or 2 weeks after contact with an infected person. Several hours later, small red papules develop in the irritated area. Later, small vesicles, or fever blisters, filled with fluid erupt. Several small vesicles may merge to form a larger blister. The vesicles generally are associated with itching, pain, or similar discomfort. Other effects often include a mild fever and enlargement of the lymph nodes in the neck. Laboratory analysis of the vesicular fluid usually shows the presence of herpesvirus particles and the absence of pyogenic bacteria. Within 1 week after the onset of symptoms, thin yellow crusts form on the vesicles as healing begins. In skin areas that are moist or protected and in severe cases, healing may be delayed. HSV2 infections in adolescence are associated with an increased incidence of cervical cancer in adulthood.
interventions Treatment of herpes simplex is symptomatic. The lesions may be washed gently with soap and water to reduce the risk of secondary infection. Topical penciclovir cream may speed healing. When secondary infections have begun, antibiotics are prescribed. Although there is no cure, treatment includes oral acyclovir or valacyclovir.
nursing considerations Because herpesviruses are extremely contagious, the nurse follows all appropriate procedures in contacts with patients to avoid acquiring and transmitting the infection. Washing the hands and wearing disposable gloves when in contact with oral secretions or genitalia help prevent transmission of the virus. Once acquired, the virus tends to remain latent in the tissues of the nervous system and may be reactivated by a variety of stimuli, including a febrile illness, physical or emotional stress, exposure to sunlight, or ingestion of certain foods or drugs. Topical sunscreen preparations offer some protection against exposure to the sun, and patients are advised to avoid repeated exposure to stimuli to which they are sensitive. The complications of herpetic infections may include encephalitis, herpes simplex keratitis, and gingivostomatitis. In cases involving systemic complications, IV acyclovir, blood transfusions, IV solutions, and other therapy may be required. In uncomplicated cases the herpes attack is usually self-limiting and runs its course in 3 weeks or less.

herpes simplex

1. Herpesvirus-1, see there.
2. Herpesvirus-2, see there.

her·pes sim·plex

(hĕrpēz simpleks)
A variety of infections caused by herpesvirus types 1 and 2; type 1 infections are marked most commonly by the eruption of one or more groups of vesicles on the vermilion border of the lips or at the external nares, type 2 by such lesions on the genitalia; both types often are recrudescent and reappear during other febrile illnesses or even physiologic states such as menstruation.
Synonym(s): herpes facialis, herpes febrilis, herpes labialis, Simplexvirus.

herpes simplex

a common virus of humans that can persist in a quiescent or latent state for long periods and then become active at irregular intervals, producing local blisters in the mucous membranes or in the skin, where local multiplication occurs. A common result of infective activity is ‘cold sores’ around the mouth and nose, but one form of the virus causes genital herpes, a painful and persistent infection of the genital and anal regions that is transmitted by sexual contact.

Herpes simplex

A virus that causes sores on the lips (cold sores) or on the genitals (genital herpes).
Mentioned in: Antiviral Drugs

herpes simplex,

n disease caused by the herpes simplex virus characterized by episodic blisters on the mucous membranes and skin.
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Herpes simplex.

her·pes sim·plex

(hĕrpēz simpleks)
Variety of infections caused by herpesvirus types 1 and 2; type 1 infections are marked most commonly by the eruption of one or more groups of vesicles on the vermilion border of the lips or at the external nares, type 2 by such lesions on the genitalia; both types often are recrudescent.

herpes simplex (hur´pēz sim´plex),

n an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Primary infection, occurring most often in children between 2 and 5 years of age, may result in apparent clinical disease or such manifestations as acute herpetic gingivostomatitis, keratoconjunctivitis, vulvovaginitis, or encephalitis. Recurrent manifestations may include herpes labialis (fever blisters or cold sores), dendritic corneal ulcers, or genital herpes simplex. See also herpes labialis and gingivostomatitis, herpetic.
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Herpes simplex.

Patient discussion about herpes simplex

Q. Where are good places to go for true info an treatmeant for herpes genital an non genital?

A. If you Google on "herpes treatments" you will find a ton. BUT, you will not find so much on NATURAL herpes treatments. I myself use Herpaflor, and it is all natural, but there are others too.

More discussions about herpes simplex
References in periodicals archive ?
The diagnosis of genital herpes--beyond culture: An evidence-based guide for the utilization of polymerase chain reaction and herpes simplex virus type-specific serology.
In summary, balm essential oil is effective against free herpes simplex virus particles and exhibits antiviral activity.
Infection of the mouth with herpes simplex virus (Herpes labialis type 1)
Herpes simplex virus infects and delivers antigen-encoding genes to dendritic cells at very high efficiency and has the potential to become one of the leading methods for loading these cells with antigens.
Herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) is the most common form of sporadic nonepidemic encephalitis in immunocompetent individuals, with an incidence of 0.
Approved June 16, 1995 for the treatment of acyclovir-resistant mucocutaneous herpes simplex virus infections in immunocompromised patients.
Severe herpes simplex virus ulcerations, sometimes unresponsive to therapy with the standard drug, acyclovir, can severely compromise a woman's quality of life.
Though a cure for herpes simplex remains to be discovered, new medications can reduce morbidity.
System from Quest Diagnostics' products business is first FDA-cleared Herpes Simplex Virus 1 and 2 test that uses genital swab or cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimen collection
London, Mar 24 (ANI): In a collaborative effort, scientists in the US and Canada have identified a cellular process that seeks out and fights herpes virus- Type 1 herpes simplex (HSV-1).
Disseminated neonatal herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection is characterized by progressive multiple organ failure and high mortality rates.
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), which causes cold sores, uses a short, double-stranded RNA to outwit a cell's defensive measures.