What are the symptoms of Oral Herpes?
Herpes can appear in various parts of the body, but it most commonly affects the mouth or the genitals. The two types of Herpes infections are HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1, also commonly known as Oral Herpes, usually causes cold sores and blisters near the mouth and on the face. It’s spread through kissing or sharing drinking glasses and utensils with an infected person
When can one get tested for Oral Herpes after exposure?
The period that should elapse before an HCV test can detect the presence of the infection in the blood is usually eight to twelve weeks after infection. One should test after at least eight weeks for accurate results. However, if a test result is negative, one should re-test after six weeks to rule out the possibility of a false-negative in the presence of an infection.
Who should get tested for Oral Herpes?
Since transmission of Herpes 1 is through direct contact with an infected person, anyone who suspects infection after potential exposure should get tested for the virus. With at least 58% of United States population testing positive for HSV-1, infection is likely even with no symptoms. Since the disease is asymptomatic in most patients, HSV-1 testing should be carried out as part of routine STD screening.
What do the results mean?
Herpes results can indicate the presence or absence of HSV-1 or HSV-2 in the body. If a test result is positive for HSV-1, it means one is infected with oral herpes while a negative one shows the absence of the antibodies against HSV-1 in the blood. A negative result could also mean that one was recently infected but tested too soon before the antibodies were detectable in the blood. In this case, a re-test after three months is necessary for confirmation of absence or presence of the virus.
Can Herpes be treated and cured?
Once diagnosed, both genital and oral herpes can be managed and treated, but not cured. Herpes is not life-threatening in adults, particularly when there are no symptoms. Depending on the severity and outbreaks, treatment may not be necessary. However, when symptoms are present, it is important that one receives treatment for relief. Treatment consists of oral antiviral medications, with the most common ones being Acyclovir, Famciclovir, and Valacyclovir. These drugs prevent outbreaks, shorten their duration and frequency of recurrences, and decrease the risk of spreading the infection to others.