If You Have a Cold Sore, is that Automatically Herpes?

Dear Dr. Tom:

My mother was just diagnosed with Herpes
and I would like to find out more about the disease. The doctor told
her that hers would probably never show up again. Does this mean that
after she is through with the medication that she is no longer able
to spread the disease?

And I would also like to know that herpes
are just like cold sores so does that mean that if someone gets a cold
sore they automatically have herpes? Thank you for taking the time
to look at my questions! It is greatly appreciated!


Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Siri:

There are two common types of herpes. There
are others, but we will not concern ourselves with those at this time.
Herpes is transmissible; the infection is responsible for untold discomfort
and misery, and the causative microbe is a virus. Unfortunately, once
the virus has invaded your body, the microbe will remain forever deep
in certain nerve cells. Antibiotic drugs will not stop the progress
of herpetic infection. Several antiviral drugs may be prescribed by
doctors for patients with herpes. But even though medication bouts
have been completed, this cannot be a certainty that the transmissibility
of the virus is also completed. It is now known that latent or shedding
sources occur in many cases.

Herpes type I is quite often related to
the mouth and lips and is commonly referred to as "cold sores" or "fever
blisters". The doctor has indicated that your mother may never experience
the sores again. However, this infection may be transmissible to others.
Often adults, unknowingly, transmit herpes to infants during kissing.
This is how children may have the infection, even though they may have
no sexual activity. Cold sores are also responsible for many genital
herpetic infections acquired during oral sex. The herpes type I has
lesser discomfort than the more virulent type known as herpes type
II. Type II is more commonly associated with sexual activity, but both
types I or II can be experienced either orally or genitally.


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