What is the Difference Between Herpes Simplex I & II?

The history of the herpes virus is well documented in the writings of Hippocrates, some 2,500 years ago. The Greek scholar described the spreading of herpes as “the creep and crawl disease.” Scientific research has identified more than 5,000 different strains of the Herpes Virus. Eight of these strains cause disease in humans:

1. Herpes Simplex Virus I: Cold Sores

2. Herpes Simplex Virus II: Genital Herpes

3. Varicella Zoster Virus: Chicken Pox and Shingles

4. Human Herpes Virus 6: Roseola

5. Human Herpes Virus 8: Kaposi’s Sarcoma

6. Epstein-Barr Virus

7. Cytomegalovirus

8. Human B-Lymphotropic Virus

There are two types of HSV. Type 1 manifests itself in the common cold sore and Type 2 usually manifests as genital lesions (although in some cases, Type 2 has shown itself in the form of a cold sore with many of the same properties). Since the lesions commonly affect the lips or areas bordering the lips, the condition is also known as recurrent herpes labialis.

The herpes virus takes up permanent residence in the body once it becomes introduced. The peak incidence of HSV Type 1 primary infection is at two to three years of age, but new cases appear in all age groups due to the highly contagious nature of the virus. Only an estimated 15% of the population experience the primary infection as an adult. The disease is thought to be transmitted by direct contact. Virus excretion persists in the body secretions for 15 to 42 days after the onset of the primary herpes infection.

After an initial infection, some people develop effective immunity; however, 20% to 45% have recurrent lesions. In North America, an estimated seven per cent of the general population has two or more bouts of herpes labialis annually. In these cases the virus goes into hiding, escaping the host’s immune system by remaining latent in a specific group of cells, causing no apparent harm to the host during quiescent periods. The exact cell in which they remain latent varies from one virus to the next. In cells harboring the latent virus, the viral genomes take the form of closed molecules and only a small subset of virus genes are expressed.

The incubation period for HSV ranges from two to twelve days. After an infection, the virus goes into hiding by entering nerve endings and traveling to ganglia (clusters of nerve cells). The recurrence of the viral infection varies but certain factors are known to trigger recurrence in humans: fever, emotional stress, physical trauma, systemic infections, ultraviolet light and menses. People whose resistance is compromised (less than normal) may experience more severe lesions with slower healing. An infection recurs when the virus is activated in the ganglia and travels down the nerve to the surface of the skin where it replicates. The recurrence takes place in phases:

a. Prodrome: Tingling and itching prior to visual outbreak; warning symptoms that last for less than six hours.

b. Inflammation: Swelling and redness at the site before outbreak; an indication that the virus and antibodies have arrived.

c. Vesicular: Blisters that appear within 1-2 days after prodrome from one or several vesicles, or tiny red bumps commonly found at the vermilion border of the lip.

d. Ulcers: Actual sores that form within 3 days after prodrome, often accompanied by pain; blisters leak fluid.

e. Crusts: Sores dry and form scabs within 4 days to indicate healing; virus diminishes and wound heals over within two to three days.

f. Healing: Complete within 8-10 days; new-skin forms; virus replication is complete. The virus retreats to the host ganglia where it remains protected from the host’s immunological attack.

Evidenced by common recurrence, even the best medical treatments have failed to rid human-kind of the herpes virus. It has been proposed that anti-viral treatments may lead to resistant and perhaps more perilous strains of the virus. As you can see, this virus represents a serious challenge to the medical community and a health concern to the public at large.

Fortunately, when it comes to breakouts, Medavir, a pharmaceutical grade over-the-counter product, is meeting that challenge. Medavir was developed by scientists and tested by a team of physicians and scientists from America’s top pharmaceutical companies. Medavir is not an herbal or dietary supplement often found on the internet falsely claiming to cure the herpes virus.