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Can Mouth Herpes Cause Genital Herpes?

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Herpes infections are common, but around two thirds of the people who have been infected with the herpes simplex virus are unaware of it because their outbreaks are so mild. It is important to know that shedding of the virus can occur even when symptoms are not present and that theoretically both infections can infect both the lip or face area and the genitals. If you have herpes, Las Vegas medical clinics can help you find a treatment solution to keep yourself comfortable.

HSV-1 that causes mouth herpes and HSV-2 that causes genital herpes are spread by direct contact. Interestingly HSV-1 sheds through the saliva 5 per cent of the time when the person does not have any symptoms. In their first year of infection, people with HSV-2 shed 6 to 10 per cent of the time they do not have any symptoms.

HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be spread through direct contact, kissing and sharing the same eating utensil. They may also be spread through sexual contact.

HSV-1 establishes latency in the nerves by the ear and will reactivate on the face or mouth while HSV-2 collects in a cluster of nerves in the spine and reactivates in the genital area. However, cross-infection can occur, and while the chances of it happening are slight, it is possible and it has happened. If a person who has HSV-1 develops HSV-2, the infection is likely to be milder because they would already have the antibodies. It is more likely for HSV-1 to cause HSV-2 than it is for HSV-2 to cause HSV-1. Only 25 per cent of those who have asymptomatic genital HSV-1 shed the virus, compared with 55 per cent of those who have genital HSV-2.

Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be passed to the baby while the mother is in labor, but the risk of this happening is low. It is even less if the mother does not have an active infection at the time of delivery, but most doctors will still take precautions. The risk is considerably higher if she develops her first infection in the later stages of pregnancy. A caesarian section may be advised if the mother has a severe active infection at the time of the delivery.

People who are vulnerable to herpes can take antivirals on a daily basis safely to lower the frequency of their outbreaks. Low cost clinics in Las Vegas can provide you with a treatment solution to clear your outbreaks up faster and prevent them from surprising you so often.