Herpes can be a silent predator. The virus has different strains, different forms, and infects different parts of the body. Some people react with severe symptoms while others may have no symptoms at all. How do you know you have herpes?
Initial symptoms of herpes – all strains – may be flu-like in nature. Headache, fatigue, aching muscles, swollen lymph nodes. These are usually present in all people that have been infected, even if not recognized for what they represent. People that are asymptomatic later may have a milder version of these symptoms.
Other symptoms can include aching of the major muscles. Pain or tingling may run up and down the nerves of the large muscles in the arms, legs, and buttocks. Stiffness may be present, but not for all people infected.
Another tell-tale sign of a herpes infection is when lesions appear. The lesions may look like sores or fluid filled blisters. The lesions almost always stay on or near the original infection site. The virus travels along nerves and each nerve serves an area of skin. Anywhere along that immediate area may have a lesion appear.
Lesions can appear as one sore/blister, a few, or many. The number depends on the severity of the outbreak and infection.
People are pretty well aware of how to avoid spreading sexually transmitted disease, but not everyone knows that herpes can be spread from one body part to another. To prevent this, never touch blisters or sores without gloves if at all possible. Washing the hands right after contacts with water and soap can cut down on transfer.
Herpes strains can be spread to the eyes, mouth, genitals, fingers, body skin. Not as well known as in the past, herpes that is present on the body is known as 'wrestler's herpes'. Never touch a lesion and then scratch the eyes, skin, bit nails, or another person's skin.
A doctor can prescribe medication and determine the type of herpes present or rule out herpes is an infection is only suspected.