Herpes Simplex

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  • Topic: Herpes simplex, Herpes simplex virus, Virus
  • Pages : 4 (1390 words )
  • Download(s) : 178
  • Published : November 30, 2009
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Living with a Virus

When most people think about the Herpes Simplex Virus, most believe that is categorized only as a sexually transmitted disease that affects areas of the male and female genitalia. In that case it would be a sexually transmitted disease however, Herpes Simplex Virus can be transmitted in several ways and affect millions of people all around the world.

Herpes is a disease caused by the Herpes Simplex Viruses types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2). According to the location of the herpes, the virus can be categorized as oral herpes, genital herpes, ocular herpes, and so on. Since herpes is an incurable virus, infected individuals will endure the annoying and contagious virus for the rest of their life with recurring “outbreaks”. The virus is incurable because during the latent phase of the disease, the virus hides itself and becomes invisible to the immune system. The immune system was designed to fight off unfamiliar pathogens; but cannot do its job if a pathogen has hidden itself. The only time the immune system fights off the herpes virus is when an outbreak occurs. At this time the virus infects the epithelial cells causing blisters or sores on the a person’s body and no longer hides itself from the immune system. At this time, the immune system can then recognize that there is an unfamiliar pathogen present and fight it. But before the first outbreak occurs, the virus has already become an incurable virus by being transported along axons to the neuron itself.

It was in 1893 that genital herpes was recognized as a transmitted disease spread from one person to another. It wasn’t until 1982 that HSV was made aware to the public that it has become a serious problem. HSV was thought to be a manifestation of the “free love” era or sexual revolution of the sixties and seventies. When in fact, the first documentation of the virus was in 2500BC.

Ancient Greeks coined the phrase ‘herpes’. Hippocrates used that term to describe...