Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that affects millions of people across the globe.
It is caused by the herpes simplex virus and can manifest in different ways, depending on the person.
In women, the first herpes outbreak is usually the most severe and can include flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, as well as blisters and lesions on the genitals.
If you experience your first herpes outbreak, know that you are not alone. Many women feel ashamed and embarrassed after contracting herpes, but it is important to remember that you are not at fault.
There is no need to feel ashamed or embarrassed – you can get help and support from friends and family, as well as from professionals.
What is the first herpes outbreak?
The first herpes outbreak is the first time that you experience symptoms of herpes. For most people, this first herpes outbreak is also the most severe.
The first herpes outbreak can cause a wide range of symptoms, including fever, swollen glands, headache, muscle aches and pains, and a rash.
You may also experience emotional distress, such as feeling anxious or depressed. It’s important to remember that most people have a mild first herpes outbreak.
If your symptoms are severe or don’t go away after a few days, be sure to see your doctor.
Sometimes the virus can spread to genital fluids or oral sex. There are two types of herpes, one spreading through excreta from the semen or vaginal fluids of infected people and the other through kissing and sexual contact with an infected person (herpetic).
It is not known whether all people who have this infection have it or if only some have it (disease varies depending on exposure to the bacteria which causes it).
There have been over 25 types of herpes reported in the US. Of these, 14 types are caused by viruses that belong to four groups of microbes such as human herpes, monkey herpes, fowl herpes or fish herpes.
A single type of herpes usually spreads through human-to-human contact, but sometimes animal-to-human contact makes it possible for herpes to reach humans.
When this happens, there are several symptoms which occur including headaches, fever, soreness and swollen lymph nodes.
It has been found that persons infected with herpes usually develop blisters on their hands, feet, legs, neck and sometimes the face, although most do not have severe blisters.
People suffering from herpes commonly experience mild pain, itching, rashes and swelling of the skin and blisters that may open up after the rash subsides. This rash is referred to as herpes zoster.
What causes the first herpes outbreak?
The first herpes outbreak is often caused by a weakened immune system. When your body’s defenses are down, the virus can quickly spread and cause an outbreak. Additionally, emotional stress, lack of sleep, fever and menstruation can also trigger an outbreak.
Symptoms may vary among individuals and may include;
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Itching skin
- Redness and blistering of the body.
Note: Some people may experience severe allergic reactions and flu-like symptoms.
The only way to know if your herpes has become active is to take a test called a “herpes virus testing” which can be administered to you by a health care provider or a physician.
It detects antibodies that will indicate how much of the virus you have. If you have herpes zoster, your immune system may be compromised and you may continue to get herpes infections but they may be less severe or fewer severe.
Herpes is preventable with a healthy life style and immunization against herpes is available for free in public health agencies throughout the nation through this website which provides information about vaccination and immunization programs.
Infection with herpes can lead to serious complications which can be fatal when untreated or untreated with proper care and preventive measures. It can cause infection of any of the three common areas in the vagina, anus and mouth.
While it is not always possible or even desirable to receive vaccination against herpes, immunizations are sometimes recommended for certain populations especially those with underlying medical conditions or for persons living in congregate settings.
Treatment of herpes involves the use of antiviral drugs, surgery to remove the affected organ and medical or surgical procedures.
Your healthcare provider may tell you what symptoms and signs you may notice and can assist you in getting appropriate tests or treatment.
How long does the first herpes outbreak last?
The first herpes outbreak in a female is usually the most severe. It can last up to two weeks, and may be accompanied by fever, body aches, swollen lymph nodes and headaches.
Other common symptoms include vaginal discharge, ulcers or blisters on or around the genitals or anus, and pain when urinating.
Asymptomatic people with herpes will not get sick, but they can pass the illness onto others. Transmission occurs when people who have herpes touch each other without wearing masks provided.
Because herpes is transmitted through oral fluids, HIV/AIDS patients are more than three times likely to transmit the virus to others.
The risk of transmission increases the older a patient is when exposed to AIDS or HIV/AIDS is treated.
The risk of transmitting HIV/AIDS to your children may be reduced by using condoms, abstaining from sharing intimate physical objects and giving birth control to HIV/AIDS positive mothers or babies.
Studies show that, if an HIV/AIDS mother or baby is born, the infant may be protected from contracting HIV/AIDS for at least 15 years, but not for 20 years.
Although herpes can be cured by antibiotics, it may require lifelong treatment and monitoring of ongoing needs, including treatment for HIV/AIDS, cancer, hepatitis C and liver disease, if present at birth or present at age 6 months of birth (NIAID, 2012).
While there is no permanent cure for herpes, it can be treated and managed. If you experience a first herpes outbreak, it’s important to see your doctor right away for guidance and treatment.
With the right care and management, you can reduce the risk of future outbreaks and maintain a healthy and happy life with herpes.