Combating Infection: What you need to know about genital herpes
Michelle Snow MSHR, MSPH, BSN, RN

July 2011 
Volume 41  Number 7
Pages 58 - 58
  PDF Version Available!

A RECURRENT, often painful sexually transmitted disease, genital herpes is caused by herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2). Most cases of genital herpes are caused by HSV-2. However, HSV-1, which commonly manifests as fever blisters or cold sores in the mouth and on the lips, can be transmitted through oral sex from the lips of one partner to the genitalia of another, and vice versa.Rarely, herpes is transmitted to newborns during vaginal deliveries and can lead to potentially fatal infections in infants.1 Pregnant women who are experiencing an outbreak of genital herpes near delivery may be advised to have a cesarean section to prevent transmission to the newborn.1,2 Affecting about one out of six people in the United States, genital herpes is infectious and incurable.1Most patients with genital herpes are asymptomatic.1 The incubation period for herpes is 7 to 14 days after exposure. A herpes infection may present as blisters on the labia, vagina, cervix, thighs, buttocks,

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