It has been estimated that over 90% of humans have experienced some form of herpes virus infection by the age of ten. There are many sub-categories of herpes infections. In general, type I infections affect the mouth and type II affects the genital and anal regions. However, there is considerable overlap. Infections of the genital tract and anal regions are usually transmitted through sexual interaction. It is estimated that this form of the disease is one of the most rapidly growing infectious diseases in the world. It has been estimated that up to 50 million people in the United States have some form of this infection. Anal or genital herpes infections are not passed through casual encounters, such as toilets, chairs, and so forth. The method of transmission of the virus is through blisters that develop in the infected individual.
Causes of Anal Herpes Simplex Virus
The method of transmission is usually through an active herpesís blister with a broken area of skin. A male harboring an open blister can transmit the virus into the vagina or rectum of a female or male. Similar modes of transmission can occur from female to male, male to male, and even female to female. Oral to oral transmission of either type of virus can happen. The virus may be transmitted to the penis, the vagina, the rectum, the mouth, the esophagus, the trachea, and even onto broken areas of skin anywhere The virus is transported in the body to the sensory ganglia of the nervous system. These are the cell bodies that reside either in the brain or the spinal cord. Here, the virus coexists with the DNA of the cell. Periodically, it can produce symptoms along the distribution of the nerve involved. Once the viral DNA has been transmitted to the receiving personís nerve cells, the infection is permanent.
Signs and Symptoms of Anal Herpes Simplex Virus
Once infected with Herpes virus a number of various signs and symptoms may occur. The first episode of anal herpes infections may be associated with fever as well large-sized outbreaks of blisters in and around the anus. Infection in this location may coexist with infection of the penis or vagina. The later can lead to localized pain in the penis or vagina, painful urination and discharge. Usually, there will be a display of a small group of blisters in the genital or anal region. The blisters eventually rupture and gradually heal. During the ulceration phase, viruses leak out and any are of broken skin or wet mucosa may become infected. Examples include the mouth, the esophagus, the trachea, the lungs, the anus, the urethra and the vagina. At times, Herpes infections are often more subtle. The skin will just be slightly reddened without obvious lesions. This area is probably contagious, though probably much less so than blistered areas. Sometimes the skin will form tiny red bumps that donít blister, called "erythematous papules". When the anus or rectum is infected, it may produce pain in the rectum, pelvis or legs. There may be discharge from the anus or with the stool.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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