Genital Herpes Symptoms in Singapore: Genital herpes is viral, spreads by contact and causes genital blisters. Once you have herpes, it can recur many times. There is no cure or vaccine.
When a person first becomes infected with the HSV virus (called the primary herpes infection), herpes symptoms usually begin 4-7 days after the exposure. A number of red raised bumps or blisters develop on the outside of the genitals, and can also occur around the anus. These look and feel very much like cold sores of the mouth (which are also caused by HSV). There is also usually itching, burning, and/or pain in the affected area. For women, urination may be painful.
The bumps or blisters usually last about 2-3 weeks, after which they turn into small ulcers. Then they form a crust, and then heal. Many people assume that their herpes is gone after the sores heal.
However, the virus usually enters a latency period, when it’s not causing any symptoms. During this period, the virus is dormant in the cells of the sensory nerves. It may remain there forever, and never cause any symptoms. However, it may also reactivate, coming back out of the sensory nerves to cause sores and discomfort again. (The same is true of the varicella zoster virus, another virus in the herpes group, which causes the disease known as chickenpox during a primary infection, and which can reactivate later to cause shingles.)
If the virus reactivates, people with genital herpes experience recurrences. This occurs in approximately 50-80% of people who have a primary outbreak of genital herpes, with HSV-2 being more likely to cause recurrences than HSV-1. Some people experience multiple outbreaks a year, while others experience them much more rarely. Again, HSV-2 generally causes more frequent outbreaks than HSV-1. Herpes in Singapore has been found to be more commonly caused by HSV-2 than by HSV-1. Generally, recurrent outbreaks are more common in the first two years after acquiring the infection, and then the recurrences gradually decrease in frequency as well as severity over time.
Anything that suppresses the immune system can make a recurrent outbreak of herpes more likely. For instance, if you don’t get enough sleep, or if you’re under significant stress, then you may be more likely to have a herpes oubreak. Those with a very suppressed immune system, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, those with advanced HIV, or the elderly, may experience severe symptoms from HSV. The virus can attack the nervous system, leading to brain damage or even death.
If a mother has genital herpes, and there is an outbreak during the baby’s birth, then the baby can get the herpes virus as he or she passes through the birth canal. Unfortunately, in newborns, the virus can cause a severe infection of the brain and other parts of the nervous system. This can be fatal, or can cause severe brain damage. To avoid the risk of this happening to the baby, expectant mothers who have a history of genital herpes are often advised to have a cesarean section, rather than birthing the baby vaginally. Since the virus can be contagious before symptoms are apparent, it’s safest to deliver by cesarean even if there isn’t an obvious outbreak at the time of the baby’s birth; however, many doctors recommend a cesarean only in the case of an active outbreak, because a cesarean delivery also has its own risks. If you’re an expectant mother with herpes in Singapore, ask your doctor whether he or she recommends cesarean birth in your case.