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How to prevent herpes encephalitis?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
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I just got an STD for a positive Herpes type 1. I'm worried about herpes encephalitis and prevention of this condition. Is there anything I can do?
Posted Thu, 6 Mar 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 40 minutes later
Brief Answer: virus present in 50 to 80 % of persons Detailed Answer: Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic Herpes 1 is mainly found in the oral region whereas herpes 2 is found mainly in genitalia. Herpes 1 infection is very common. Most persons acquire this virus in childhood from contact with oral secretions that contain the virus. In fact, in the US, according to some studies, 50 to 80 % would be positive for this virus by age 30. This means that more than 1 out of 2 persons would have this virus , so it is not unusual that your test is positive, quite a few persons your age would have a positive result. It is very common. You may see ads for the use of creams (such as abreva) for mouth sores/cold sores . These mouth sores/cold sores are due the the herpes 1 virus. In terms of complication such as encephalitis. This is extremely unlikely. As mentioned , more than half of the population over 30 would test positive this virus, the number of persons out of this group who would have complications to herpes 1 are neglible. Complications are more likely in persons whose immune system is compromised, even in this group the main complication would be extensive mouth ulcers. Compromised immune systems is found in diabetics, persons on long term steroids, HIV, persons on immunosuppressant medication. You and most other persons whose immune systems are intact are unlikely to experience any significant complications of herpes 1 such as encephalitis.This very rare complication is treated with antiviral medication such as acyclovir. Outbreaks of mouth sores can have different triggers , some are fatigue, stress, excess heat exposure, with other illnesses such as the common cold. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
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