|Herpes and pregnancy
If herpes is transmitted to a newborn, it can cause serious consequences, including neurological problems, mental retardation, or even death. Most danger arises from genital herpes, or HSV-2, (H-S-V two) though oral herpes, or HSV-1, (H-S-V one) can also be harmful.
Herpes is a disease caused by the herpes simplex virus, or HSV (H-S-V). The virus is usually transmitted by direct contact with an infected individual, including kissing, oral sex, and sexual intercourse, or other situations in which viruses from the infection site contact broken skin or a mucous membrane like the mouth.
|Herpes simplex type I
Herpes simplex type I (one), or HSV-1 (H-S-V one), is a virus that most often affects the mouth, lips, and face, causing tiny, fluid-filled blisters. These lesions are called 'cold sores' or 'fever blisters', and in fact, later outbreaks may be triggered by fever or viral infection.
|Herpes simplex type II
Herpes simplex type II (two) is the virus most often responsible for genital herpes, and the two terms are often used interchangeably. However, you should realize that herpes type I, or oral herpes, can also cause sores in the genital area by transfer during oral sex with an infected individual.
|Lowering your risk of herpes
Preventing the spread of herpes is a challenging task because so far, there's no vaccine against it and no cure for those already infected. Oral herpes in particular is difficult to control since casual contact like kissing, sharing towels or cups, or secretions from a cough can transmit the virus.
Though the herpes virus is thought to remain in the body forever once a person is infected, there are several treatments that can ease symptoms and/or reduce future outbreaks.