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8 Types of Herpes Virus and Infections That You Should Know

Herpes virus includes 100 different types, but only 8 of them can infect humans. Here’s what you should know about types of herpes virus and infections that it causes.

Herpes virus type 1

Herpes virus type 1 (HSV-1) is the cause of cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth. Usually, the sores or blisters can show up on the outside of the mouth or on the lips. But sometimes, they can be inside the mouth, on the face, nose, cheeks or fingers. HSV-1 can also lead to infection of the genitals, called genital herpes. This occurs when you have a cold sore and perform oral sex on another person. HSV-1 infections are highly contagious. Apart from oral-genital contact, they can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. If you come into contact with a person or a thing that carries HSV-1, you will be likely to get it, too. Often, people get HSV-1 from kissing someone with a cold sore or when they share eating utensils, razors, or towels.

HSV-1 infections can be treated with antiviral medication, such as acyclovir. These medication cannot cure the infection. But, they can help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms. Prosurx is one of the best antiviral creams for cold sores. It is famous for treating symptoms and preventing outbreaks in the future. For this, you are recommended to apply Prosurx to the sores 2 to 3 times a day. Factors like stress, colds, fever and certain foods may trigger HSV-1 infections. To prevent an outbreak, you need to avoid these triggers.

Read more: What You Need to Know about Symptoms and Stages of Cold Sores

herpes simplex virus 1

Herpes simplex virus type 1

Herpes virus type 2

Herpes type 2 (HSV-2) can cause genital herpes. This is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the US. It causes sores or painful blisters on the penis, vagina, scrotum, anus and buttocks. Along with blisters, people with HSV-2 may experience tingling, itching or pain. Like HSV-1, HSV-2 infections are highly contagious. They can be spread easily through skin-to-skin contact. Sexual intercourse is the main route of transmission.

There is no cure for HSV-2, but treatment can help reduce the outbreaks. Prosurx is an effective treatment for lessening symptoms and preventing future outbreaks. Besides, you need to avoid strong cleaners when bathing or showering. Keep your affected area clean and dry. And, wear cotton underwear to keep the area dry and comfortable.

Read more: How Much Do You Know About Genital Herpes and How to Prevent Them

Herpes simplex virus type 2

Herpes simplex virus type 2

Herpes virus type 3 (Varicella-zoster virus)

Herpes virus type 3 is also known as varicella-zoster virus which causes chicken pox. This virus can also lead to a recurrent infection called herpes zoster or shingles. It occurs when the virus becomes reactivated after causing chicken pox and infects the skin. So if you have had chicken pox as a child, you may get shingles afterwards. Shingles and chicken pox cause blisters anywhere on the body. They are contagious and can be spread by direct contact with fluid from the blisters.

There is no cure for the virus, but there are vaccines to prevent the infections. If you have not had chicken pox or shingles, you are recommended to get vaccinated. Medication, like antihistamines, or acyclovir can help soothe the symptoms. Some home remedies can also help, such as cool baths, rest and calamine lotion.

Read more: The Differences between Herpes and Shingles

Chicken pox and shingles

Chicken pox and shingles

Herpes virus type 4 (Epstein-Barr virus)

Herpes virus type 4 is also called Epstein-Barr virus. It typically causes infectious mononucleosis, a “kissing” disease. Symptoms include skin rash, fever, sore throat and swollen lymph glands. The virus can be involved in cancers like nasopharyngeal cancer. Herpes virus type 4 is contagious through bodily fluids, including saliva. Kissing, coughing, sneezing, or sharing utensils can make the infection spread.

There is no cure for infectious mononucleosis. Treatment involves:

  • taking care of yourself
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • getting enough rest
  • eating a healthy diet

To treat the symptoms, like fever, or sore throat, you can use OTC pain relievers.

Read more: Everything You Need to Know about Infectious Mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis

Infectious mononucleosis

Herpes virus type 5 (Cytomegalovirus)

Herpes virus type 5 is also known as cytomegalovirus. It is the major cause of mononucleosis. Mononucleosis causes symptoms similar to infectious mononucleosis. It is spread via blood transfusion, breast-feeding, organ transplants, and sexual contact. The virus causes diarrhea, or severe vision problems and even leads to AIDS. People with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to these diseases.

There is no cure for herpes virus type 5. But, lifestyle and home remedies can help relieve symptoms. These are: using pain relievers, drinking plenty of water and fruit juices and gargling with salt water.

Read more: Warning Signs of Mononucleosis & When to Call the Doctor



Herpes virus type 6

Herpes virus type 6 has been found to be linked to roseola. This is a viral disease that causes skin rashes and high fevers in small children. Roseola is contagious. It spreads through talking, sneezing, or coughing.

Treatment involves lowering the high fever. You can use ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin) or acetaminophen (such as Tylenol). To prevent dehydration, drink plenty of water and get lots of rest.

Roseola causes a skin rash and high fever

Roseola causes a skin rash and high fever

Herpes virus type 7

Like herpes virus type 6, herpes virus type 7 causes roseola disease. It infects nearly all children and can be transmitted through saliva. Researchers found that herpes virus type 7 can reactivate herpes virus type 4. It can also contribute to the development of other conditions, like hepatitis infection.



Herpes virus type 8

Herpes virus type 8 has been linked to certain cancers, like Kaposi sarcoma. It is most common in people with damaged immune systems or those with AIDS. The infection causes painless purplish spots on the face, feet or legs. They can also appear on the mouth, genitals, digestive tract and lungs.

It’s very difficult to treat herpes virus type 8 with medication. If you think you have the virus, it’s necessary to see a doctor for effective treatment.

Read more: How Long Can the Herpes Virus Stay Dormant?

Kaposi sarcoma

Kaposi sarcoma

All types of herpes virus cause long-term infections because the virus is incurable. It persists in the body and reactivates, causing an outbreak. Outbreaks may occur rapidly or many years after the first infection. So, take good care of yourself and regularly visit your doctor to detect the virus early.

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