Herpes Simplex

Useful information

  • Herpes simplex is one of eight herpes viruses. Simplex causes cold sores on the face, herpetic whitlows on the finger, genital sores – or indeed, sores wherever it enters the body.
  • Like chickenpox and shingles which are caused by herpes varicella-zoster, herpes simplex virus hides in a nerve ganglion and can reappear later on.
  • The virus is contracted through direct “skin-to-skin contact with friction with the affected part” – not from towels, flannels, toilets, cups, cutlery, etc.
  • By adulthood, 9 out of 10 people carry the virus but most of them don’t know it.
  • People who carry the virus cannot catch it again, even if they are in direct contact with the virus, so partners will not re-infect each other. Nor can it be spread to new sites on the body.
  • Herpes simplex does not damage general health in any way, though it can be a nuisance.
  • Immediate relief can be obtained holding a wrapped ice cube – or cold used tea-bag – against the area for 90 minutes or use Xylocaine (at 2%, 5% or 10% strength) which can be bought from a chemist. Lots of advice about how to prevent them is available from our association.

Information Courtesy of:
Herpes Viruses Association

Any one can ask questions, get facts and advice from:
020 7609 9061 – the helpline of
the Herpes Viruses Association, a registered charity.
Or send an SAE to:
HVA, 41 North Road,London N7 9DP.

For Further information visit the website
www.herpes.org.uk

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