Herpes Virus : Herpes Simplex Virus

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Herpes is a highly contagious viral infection with a family of eight different types of viruses that affect the human body. There is herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) or the HHV1, which targets the facial area with cold sores on the lips. Additionally, there is herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV2) or the HHV2, which is known to cause a sexually transmitted disease known as genital herpes. Another one is the varicella-zoster virus (HHV3) which has been linked to chickenpox. Apart from chickenpox, it is also known to cause shingles- a recurrent skin infection. Another type of herpes is Epstein-Barr virus (HHV4) which is the causative agent of the ‘kissing disease’ or mononucleosis. The ‘kissing disease’ is contagious and is passed from one person to the other through sharing utensils, saliva, or sneezing interactions with an infected person. Moreover, there is (HHV5), officially known as cytomegalovirus (CMV). Apart from the HHV4, it is also thought to cause mononucleosis. The virus is particularly dangerous for healthy people as it may fail to show any signs or symptoms. It can be contracted through sexual encounters, and it affects newborns in addition to causing hepatitis. Not only through sexual contact can CMV be passed on but also by breast- feeding, blood transfusion, or by an organ transplant. This infection is one of the hardest complications for people living with AIDS. It may cause a variety of complications blindness, diarrhea, and even death.

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