For many people oral herpes causes only minor discomfort. And that is one of the reasons why many people don’t really care that they have herpes and don’t take any precautions so that they won’t pass the virus to others. According to the researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania some viruses from herpes family can infect and replicate in both cultured and primary neurons and lead to serious health conditions such as multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease. The data from this discovery is controversial and still requires further research. But it’s time for us to re-evaluate our views on herpes simplex virus.
Another interesting study was conducted by a Swedish scientist over the period of 11 months. It involved nearly 3500 people and revealed that herpes causes 40% to 50% of Alzheimer’s disease cases. When a person gets infected with HSV-1, the virus replicates and travels to the brain via nerves where it stays in a dormant state for a while and then it travels back to cause cold sores. It can also cause latent infection, which can lead to a slow development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Now herpes simplex virus type 1 does not look that harmless anymore. There are also studies showing that herpes can increase the risk of memory loss, weaken immune system and cause mild health problems. And if we add painful outbreaks and stress into the mix, that adds up to a pretty bad condition that should not be passed to others without their knowledge.
Is there something that we can do to prevent the virus from spreading? Yes, absolutely. It is best to learn more about herpes, otherwise you could pass herpes unknowingly to others, and they would have to suffer from it for rest of their lives – or until the scientists develop a cure for herpes.
Herpes is usually transmitted via skin to skin contact whether an outbreak is present or not (asymptomatic shedding). Recent research shows that people shed virus without being aware of it 10% to 30% of the times for HSV-1 (for HSV-2 it depends on a number of outbreaks a person is having per year).
– Avoid sexual and skin to skin contact during an active outbreak and/or when you are feel tingling and light burning sensation in a place where a breakout usually appears.
– Let your partner know about your condition, otherwise it can seriously backfire on your relationship.
– Don’t touch herpes outbreaks. It is very easy to spread herpes virus to other parts of your body.
– It’s very unlikely to pass the virus via towels, razors and silverware, because the virus dies within few seconds after it’s outside the body, but there is still a possibility.
– Use a condom during sex; and if a foreplay is initiated, a dental dam should be used.