Herpes Simplex Virus : Virus

2262 Words10 Pages
The herpes simplex virus, HSV for short, is a double-stranded DNA virus with an enveloped, icosahedral capsid. It is an infection of the skin and mucous membranes (CDC, 2014). According to the ancient Greeks, herpes means to "creep or crawl". It is named herpes because the virus creeps onto the skin from under the surface. It presents itself as fluid-filled blisters (AAD, 2014). Humans are the only primate species known to be infected with the distinct herpes simplex viruses. There are two types of the herpes simplex virus (Hunt, 2010). The first one is called herpes simplex virus 1, HSV 1 and the second is herpes simplex virus 2, HSV 2. Both of these viruses cause herpes (blisters/sores) to appear in the oral or genital area (Davis,…show more content…
In severe cases HSV 1 can spread to other parts of the body such as the eyes, brain and skin (AAD, 2014). HSV 1 is so common that 65% of people in the United States have antibodies of it. Worldwide 90% people are infected with at least one herpes simplex viruses (Simon, 2010). According to a study done on viruses at Stanford, it wasn 't until 1893 that it was noticed that the virus was being spread through human transmission. There was speculation of the virus but it was not experimentally confirmed until 1919 by Lowenstein. In the 1920 's and 1930 's HSV was heavily studied and it was found that the virus travels from the skin and makes its way to the nervous system (Simon, 2010). The infection process of the herpes simplex virus type 1 is: the virus enters vulnerable cells in the lower layers of the skin tissues and tries to reproduce in the cell nuclei, if the virus destroys the host cells when it multiplies inflammation and fluid-filled blisters or ulcers appear (Hunt, 2010). Herpes simplex virus type 1 is most commonly contracted as a child although anyone can contract the virus at any age. The first initial contact with the infection is higher between ages 6 months to 3 years old. By age 5, more than 1/3 of children in low income areas are infected opposed to 20% of children in middle income areas (Ehrlich,
Open Document