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Herpes Causes & Transmission

Herpes simplex virus tends to be transmitted by direct contact with the lesions. The primary infection (the first contact with the virus) leads to inflammatory reactions and redness followed by small fluid-filled lesion or blister formation in or beneath your skin. The virus then remains in the nerve ganglia, which leads to recurrent outbreaks in the infected area (s). Various factors may trigger the recurrent of the outbreaks:    

  • Menstruation 
  • Lack of sleep
  • Pregnancy
  • Exposure to sunlight 
  • Infectious diseases
  • Trauma
  • Fever
  • Stress
  • Fatigue 
  • Immunosuppression

Those outbreaks are very contagious. The transmission of the virus can be done through kiss, contact with lesions or saliva, mother-to-child transmission, or during sexual intercourse. To reduce contamination to others, in case there are breakouts, you should be avoided by infants and immunocompromised individuals (cancer patients, HIV infected people, etc.), because they may develop very severe forms of herpes.

In case of pregnancy, genital herpes of the mother is dangerous to the child at birth, contamination might occur during expulsion. Transmission of the herpes simplex virus to a newborn is extremely serious. The infection can cause generalized rash, encephalitis, jaundice and intra-vascular coagulation. To prevent mother-to-child transmission, your doctor can perfom a caesarean when the date of birth is near.

Herpes transmission can also occur by auto-contamination such as sticking your fingers in your nose, eye and on your cheek.  


   Types of Herpes                                     Herpes Symptoms