Study of Communicable Disease: Genital Herpes Virus
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Communicable Disease: Genital Herpes Virus (HSV-2)
Genital herpes is reported as a "common and highly contagious infection usually spread through sex." (WebMD, 2012) Herpes is an infection resulting from the herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) which is similar to herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) which is the virus that causes cold sores. Individuals infected with the herpes virus have recurrent outbreaks in fact 90% of individuals infected with the herpes virus report repeated outbreaks with some reporting only two outbreaks each year. However, some individuals report up to eight outbreaks per year with the herpes virus. (Shiel, 2011, p.1)
It is reported that the herpes virus is more easily transmitted from male to female than from female to male. It is reported that approximately one out of every five women between the ages of 14 to 49 years of age have the herpes virus and one out of nine men between the ages of 14 and 49 years of age have the herpes virus. The majority of individuals infected with NSV-1 or HSV-2 experience few if any symptoms or their symptoms are so mild that they do not even notice them or mistakenly believe that they can be attributed to another skin problem. When symptoms are noted it is in the form of blisters that are painful around the individual's "genitals, rectum or mouth." (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012, p.1) The blisters break and leave painful sores that may take two to four weeks to heal.