2000 years ago, Herodotus identified a disease manifested with fever and small dots around the mouth. He called the disease “herpes febrilis”. Later, he discovered the same outbreaks in the genital area, and he called this disease “herpes genitalis”. However, the true cause of this condition was only established around the year 1960, when it was proven that the tow diseases are determined by two related germs.
The term "outbreaks" is used commonly, being attributed to the lesions appeared around the mouth. Generally, the patients consider herpes as a simple disease, without complications, preferring to treat the outbreaks at their homes, using some inefficient and sometimes harmful solutions such as toothpaste, vinegar, cabbage or coffee. However, you must know that those outbreaks could be the result of some serious complications for a newborn, and also for the patients suffering from a low immunity.
The herpes outbreaks (HSV1 and HSV2) have a common characteristic called “latency”. This means that after the first contact of the virus with the organism, called a “prime infection”, the virus will never be completely eliminated from the organism. It will persist for the rest of the patient’s life in the organism of the diseased person in a “latent” state, inside the nervous system’s cells. During the latency, the virus has no symptoms, but in the presence of some favoring factors, they will be reactivated, producing the recurrences.
The outbreaks at the level of the lips are called HSV1 infections. This is the only form of herpes that can be treated by the patients through self-medication. For all the other types of herpes, it is mandatory for the diseased patient to talk with his doctor.
The HSV1 infection is widely spread around the world, and it is estimated for the number of infected patients to grow exponentially. In the sub-developed countries of Africa, HSV1 is manifested for 80 % of the population. This infection affects the poor social categories, where the basic hygiene rules are not respected.
The outbreaks are transmitted from one person to the other through kisses, as a result of the contact of saliva with the outbreaks on the lips of the partner. The infection can also be transmitted through contaminated objects, such as toothbrushes, towels and glasses. It is also possible for the patient to contaminate other parts of the bodies, with his fingers or through some other kind of direct contact.
For the first HSV contact, 90 % of the patients don’t have any symptom, and the infection is unnoticed. The rest 10 % of the infected persons suffer from fever, rashes at the level of the mouth, throat pains, and vesicles filled with a yellow liquid around the lips. Those symptoms can extend on the whole face, and in the interior of the mouth. The vesicles will disappear after one or two weeks with the proper treatment.
Recurrences of the outbreaks are usually identified by the diseased persons. If a person knows that he suffers from this condition, he will also be able to identify the triggering factors, and he or she will be able to avoid them.