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What Is Herpes | Defined And Explained

Posted on 03 May 2011

Herpes happens to be a highly active strand of virus, which is known to be the root cause of oral herpes, commonly known as cold sores, and the genital herpes.

Herpes simplex virus, better known as the HSV, is regarded as the most threatening form of virus that causes majority of infections, and the worse part of the story is that these are sexually transmittable infections, which can spread via skin-to-skin contact or sexual contact of genital regions.

To most  folks, herpes is a medical term, which refers to diseases caused by the HSV, but in scientific terms, herpes happens to be the medical name given to a specific group of viruses, which are known to be the root cause of diseases like chicken pox, oral and genital infections, and few common infections that usually afflict newborns.

More About Herpes

The herpes viruses are not only dangerous to the humans but equally dangerous to the animal kingdom as well. They’ve been known to cause deadly infections in the cattle, simians, chicken, cats and many other animals. The herpes virus simiae is known to be harmful to animals as well as humans.

Types of Herpes Viruses

Though there are over 100 varieties of Herpes viruses known, the most common ones include –

• Varicella Zoster virus
• Herpes Simplex Virus 1
• Herpes Simplex Virus 2
• Epstein-Barr Virus
• Human Herpes Virus
• Human Cytomegalo Virus

Human herpes virus is the most recently discovered one out of the lot.

Diseases Caused by Herpes Viruses

The main diseases caused by the herpes viruses include:

Cold sores – Caused by the Herpes simplex virus
Shingles – Caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus
Chickenpox – Caused by the Varicella-Zoster virus
Herpes Whitlow – Caused by the Herpes simplex virus
Cytomegalovirus infections – Caused by the Human cytomegalovirus
Genital herpes – Caused by the Herpes simplex virus
Glandular fever/Infectious mononucleosis – Caused by Epstein-Barr virus
B Virus Infection – Caused by the Herpesvirus simiae and
Roseola/Exanthem Subitum – Caused by the Human Herpes Virus Type 6

The origin of herpes is very much mysterious and unknown, though there are several ancient traces of existence of this virus and is responsible for a great impact in history of human civilization.

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