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The First Genital Herpes Outbreak Symptoms

Genital Herpes (GH) is a sexually transmitted disease, which received wide publicity in the resent years. Up to 60% of the adults and teenagers in the USA are infected with the virus causing GH, though 90% of those may not even suspect about the disease due to the absence of any symptoms; therefore, they may transmit the infection to the other people without knowing it.

Herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV), which has two types: HSV1 and HSV2. The first one usually infects mouth and lips, causing the so called “fever blisters” or cold sores. Genital herpes is provoked by HSV2 during sexual intercourse, and sometimes by HSV1 during oral sex. It may appear on the genitals, buttocks, thighs, anal area, and urinary passage or inside the vagina and on the cervix in women.

It takes 3-7 days for the first outbreak symptoms to become obvious; they can last for several weeks. These symptoms include tingling or sores around the area where the virus entered the body. Then the small red bumps appear, which later become blisters and develop into itchy, painful sores. In some time, the latter scab over and heal.

Sometimes, the outbreak symptoms are expressed by a crack or raw area or some redness without pain, itching, or tingling.

These conditions may be accompanied by fever, headache, muscle aches, painful or difficult urination, vaginal or penis discharge, and swollen glands in the groin area.

Meanwhile, many people report of either only mild symptoms or no discomfort at all during the disease. That is a reason why GH is often mistaken for some other conditions as allergy, insect bites, razor burn or the result of heavy sweating and tight clothing. Under these circumstances, it is easy to transmit a virus to other persons.

Nevertheless, people, whose immune system is weakened, suffer from severe and long lasting outbreak symptoms, especially, if it is the first time the virus manifests itself. You should be aware that if it once enters the body, it remains there for a long time (inactive), sometimes forever; therefore, up to 5 outbreaks a year can be observed, since the virus becomes active from time to time. The further outbreaks, called recurrences, are usually much milder or not painful at all. HSV2 is more likely to result in recurrences than HSV1.

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The complications after herpes occur extremely seldom. To avoid them, it is advisable not to touch the open sores, as sometimes the virus can be brought to other parts of the body. If it enters eyes, it can cause ocular herpes, leading to eye disease or blindness.

It is worthy to mention that women suffer from herpes (and genital especially) more often than men. Statistically, one woman out of four in the USA is infected. The virus is extremely dangerous for the babies of pregnant ill women, as it causes serious brain, skin and eye problems and can even lead to death.

If you suspect you might be infected, it is highly advisable to abstain from sex or close skin-to-skin relations and consult a doctor as soon as possible.


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