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How Long Can the Herpes Virus Stay Dormant?

Herpes infections have recently declined in the US. However, about half of teenagers and adults under the age of 50 are still infected with oral herpes. Besides, about one in every eight people has genital herpes. But, it’s worth mentioning that up to 90% of infected people haven’t even known they have the virus. That’s because herpes never shows up any symptoms in some people. When contracting herpes, the virus stays dormant in the body and can be reactivated by some triggers. That’s why most of people with primary outbreak will experience other recurrences in the following years. How can you know that how long the virus stays dormant or what triggers it? Let’s read the article to know important information.

More about the herpes virus

The herpes simplex virus (HSV) is responsible for oral and genital herpes. It usually enters your body through sexual acts, kissing or touching herpes blisters of an infected person. When the virus penetrates the body, it travels to certain nerve where it can “sleep” until something triggers it. Then, the virus travels down the neural pathway to the first sign of infection, leading to an outbreak, but not always.

Some people with HSV don’t experience an outbreak for months or years. But others notice an outbreak immediately after contracting the virus. This depends on many reasons. So, it’s important to know some things affect the dormancy of a herpes infection.

HSV is responsible for oral and genital herpes

HSV is responsible for oral and genital herpes

How long can the herpes virus stay dormant?

Before the first outbreak

If you’ve acquired the virus but not yet experienced a herpes outbreak, frankly there’s no accurate way to identify when one can occur. Depending on the immune system, the virus can stay dormant or become active. A person with strong immune system may keep the virus stay dormant longer. Otherwise, some people with weakened immune function may have first one immediately. That’s why someone often has their first outbreak after two weeks of contracting the virus, while others have the first outbreak after two years. Because of this, they meet troubles pointing when they got herpes at all.

Moreover, lifestyles have impact on the dormancy of the virus. Stress, poor diet are hidden culprits of a herpes infection. They can rapidly trigger your first outbreak.

Between outbreaks

When you’ve already experienced a first outbreak, you may wonder how long you get them in the future. In fact, this depends on everyone’s body. The virus can “sleep” shorter or longer will depend on the immune system of each person. Averagely, an infected person may experience from two to four outbreaks a year. In some cases, they can go outbreak –free for about 40 years before having another.

Though there’s no cure for herpes outbreak, some treatments are effective in lessening herpes symptoms and reducing the number of one. ProsurX is one of the best antiviral creams for herpes. The cream contains powerful natural ingredients approved by the FDA. So, it has no side effects. Besides, the cream helps destroy the virus at the root that makes the virus is hard to come back.

Related: What Are Herpes Treatments for Each Stage?

Depending on the immune system of each person, herpes can live dormant or become active

Depending on the immune system of each person, herpes can live dormant or become active

What can reactivate the herpes virus?

The virus can be reactivated by many triggers. If you notice many outbreaks in a year, should take a look at the following factors.

  • Stress. As mentioned above, it’s the important trigger of a herpes outbreak. Whether emotional or physical stress, it can reactive the virus.
  • Weakened immune system. People with low immune system have more frequent outbreaks than others.
  • Diet high in arginine. Foods that are rich in arginine, such as chocolate and almonds can contribute to outbreaks of herpes. Here’re 7 Super Foods to Shorten Herpes Outbreaks
  • Hormones. Many women have reported that they sometimes suffer from new herpes outbreaks during or after their periods and menopause.
  • Sex. Friction during sex causes genital irritation, this can trigger outbreaks. If you assume it’s your trigger, try to reduce irritation with lubricant. Also, you need to abstain from sex during an outbreak to avoid spreading.

It’s important to listen to your body and understand what can trigger the virus. Occasionally, even when the virus is reactivated, some people may notice no physical symptoms. They only have visible signs when the virus works strongly. Though it doesn’t show up symptoms, it can be still spread to others.

Related: How Can I Prevent My Partner From Catching Herpes?

Stress is an important trigger of a herpes outbreak

Stress is an important trigger of a herpes outbreak

How to keep herpes dormant

A person with herpes may be in stressful relationship or at a high- stress job. Though that’s just life, these can reactivate the virus easily. So, if you want to keep herpes dormant for years or even decades, you should:

  • Manage your stress. Knowing what triggers your stress helps reduce it effectively
  • Learn stress management technique. Taking deep breath, and massages are useful
  • Take time to pamper yourself
  • Do exercise
  • Keep healthy diet with lysine
  • Reduce sexual partners
  • Have safe sex

Herpes infections sometimes don’t show up any symptoms because the virus stays dormant in the nerve ganglia. Depending on each individual, can stay dormant or become active. When your immune system is strong, it can keep the herpes inactive. In contract, you have a high risk of suffering herpes outbreaks. So, it’s essential to strengthen the immune system and avoid herpes triggers.



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