Viruses surround us everywhere, and some live forever in our body. They can sleep there for years, even decades, waiting for the right moment to “wake up” and cause a full-fledged illness. Among these pathogens is the herpes virus.
There are 8 varieties of the virus, the most common of which are such types as herpes simplex, chicken pox (it causes children’s chickenpox and shingles), Epstein-Barr virus (infectious mononucleosis) and cytomegalovirus. All of these viruses are currently incurable, but in most cases they are in a latent, hidden form. Of particular danger to pregnant women, young children and weakened patients.
The role of the remaining three types of herpes virus at the moment is not completely clear, but there is reason to assume their role in the occurrence of various diseases. The first five types of herpes virus are active and widespread, but especially the herpes simplex virus of the first and second type is found.
Description of herpes simplex virus
The herpes simplex virus most often affects the human skin, eyes and external genital organs.
Herpes simplex, or herpes simplex, has two forms:
- The first type of virus, or labial, external, is most often manifested by painful rashes in the form of clusters of weeping bubbles on the lips. It can affect the mucous membranes of the eyes, leading to the emergence of various vision problems or even to its loss, as well as form rashes, localized mostly on the thin and fragile skin of the face.
- The second type of virus, or genital, forms a rash on the mucous membranes of the genital organs. Especially dangerous for pregnant women, fetuses and newborns.
According to medical statistics, the herpes virus of the first type is infected with up to 100% of the entire population of the earth, but not all “get acquainted” with the external manifestations of the infection, a strong immunity can suppress the development of visible traces of the disease. Infection most often occurs in early childhood. The genital virus is usually sexually transmitted and infection occurs with the onset of active sex life. In most cases, the cause of genital herpes is a virus of the second type, but with the spread of oral sex, there are more and more cases of genital lesions by the first type of virus.
Externally, herpes is manifested by small blistering rashes, which are accompanied by burning, itching, soreness.
The bubbles at the beginning of the disease are filled with a clear liquid, they can burst and spread viruses. Sometimes they get an infection, then the contents become purulent. In quite rare cases, a chill occurs, the temperature rises, the state is accompanied by weakness, indisposition, as with a cold. Hence the often popular national name of herpes on the lips – “cold”.
More information about the herpes simplex virus can be found in the video:
Infection with herpes, as they say, is easier than ever. The virus is extremely tenacious, and feels great on various surfaces. Particularly high risks are places and objects associated with the mass stay of a large number of people – public transport (handrails and conveyor supports), ATMs and bank terminals, store shelves, computer keyboards and mobile phones, and especially paper money and coins. To minimize the risk of infection, you should avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and lips, wash your hands as often as possible and do not forget about the main nest of microbes – the area under the nails.
The most common infection is the use of other people’s things. Especially often this happens when transferring someone else’s cosmetics – lipstick, mascara, pencil. Children get a virus by licking toys, their own hands, or passing some goodies, such as candy or gum, from mouth to mouth.
You can protect yourself and your family by observing elementary standards of hygiene and healthy disgust, not using other people’s things and not giving your own to other people, as well as teaching your children the rules of behavior.
Assignment to the analysis
Analysis of the herpes virus is necessary, especially during pregnancy
The doctor will send the patient for examination and testing for complaints, visual symptoms of the virus, before performing various surgical, dental and cosmetic interventions.
But such an analysis is most important for pregnant women, since infection with the herpes virus during pregnancy carries a lot of threats for a woman and fetus – from arbitrary abortion to intrauterine infection with a detrimental effect on health and fetus formation, as well as infection at the time of birth. During pregnancy, it may be necessary to pass such an analysis repeatedly, since infection is possible virtually at any time.
At the initial stages of infection, it is almost impossible to detect the virus, because the formation of antibodies will require a sufficiently long period.
In such a situation, obtaining a result that the herpes simplex virus IgG is positive, as well as confirmation of the presence of active viruses in the blood, can be a real threat of abortion or the risk of having a child with congenital abnormalities.
Procedure and preparation
Blood test for herpes simplex virus
Venous blood is taken for analysis. The study requires standard training, which includes the following provisions:
- Taking blood exclusively on an empty stomach, best in the morning.
- Half a day before the analysis, any alcoholic beverages, smoking, excessive physical activity are excluded from the menu.
- The minimum fasting period is 8 to 12 hours.
- It is highly desirable to avoid any stress.
- If a child passes a sample, he needs to drink water for about half an hour before the analysis (approximately a glass, in small doses).
- At least a quarter of an hour before the test, you should sit quietly and try not to worry.
- If it is possible to refuse to take any medication, if it is impossible, then tell the doctor about it.
Interpretation of test results is an exercise for an experienced specialist, but it must be said that the data “IgG herpes simplex virus positive” does not always mean a threat to the course of pregnancy or human health.
Decoding: IgG positive and IgG negative
IgG positive – a sign of the presence of herpes simplex virus in the body
A single blood sample may not show an accurate result, so it is performed several times. Most adult people have IgG antibodies to the herpes virus, so the result of the herpes simplex virus IgG positive can only mean that the patient was once infected with this virus and there are antibodies to it in his blood.
But an increase in the number of antibodies in repeated samples may indicate a recent infection, which is extremely dangerous and risky for a pregnant woman, since the herpes virus not only leads to deformities and death of the fetus and newborn, but can also provoke a spontaneous miscarriage at any time.
When a positive result is obtained, repeated tests are necessarily carried out to track the growth dynamics of the antibody level indicators, as this may indicate the development of the virus or its reactivation.
It is this condition that carries a real threat to health, especially when it comes to checking during pregnancy. To obtain confirmation of the exact presence of the active form of the virus, you may need to pass one more analysis – a PCR test. It will accurately confirm the presence or absence of an active virus carrying a real danger.
A negative result may indicate the absence of infection with the herpes simplex virus, or that the infection occurred quite recently and the antibodies have not yet been developed in sufficient quantity to conduct their detection.
In any case, the sample will need to be repeated, especially if it is a pregnant woman. If there is an infection, but has not yet manifested itself, a reanalysis will allow it to be detected and adequate treatment measures taken to preserve the pregnancy. If not, then this means that the woman is healthy and uninfected, but may well become infected during pregnancy. Therefore, repeated tests for the herpes simplex virus can be shown.