Disseminated Herpes: Definition, Cause, Symptoms and Treatments
Published August 17th, 2020
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) is an especially widespread virus across the world. It has two main subtypes in HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes). HSV is incurable, making it a virus that sticks with you lifelong. However, most carriers of the virus, symptomatic and asymptomatic alike, maintain healthy and fulfilling lifestyles.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take this virus seriously, though. HSV is known to compromise both the peripheral and central nervous systems (meningitis, encephalitis), and cause pneumonia and hepatitis. A rarer case is when herpes spreads to other parts of the skin and even internal organs.
This is what we call disseminated herpes. Generally, herpes outbreaks affect the orolabial (mouth and lips) and genital skin. In the unusual case that the virus spreads to the other parts of the body, it can have potentially life-threatening effects, resulting in death in some cases.
What causes disseminated herpes?
From its name, the disseminated virus is caused by strains of the herpes virus. More frequent cases of disseminated herpes came from HSV-2. The entire cause still requires more research, but two general groups of people are at risk of developing disseminated herpes. These two groups are those with underlying skin conditions and the immunocompromised. Documented records of disseminated herpes are significantly associated with the latter.
Disseminated herpes is not to be confused with shingles, otherwise known as herpes zoster. The cause of shingles is the varicella-zoster virus, a part of the family of herpes viruses. This earns shingles its name of herpes zoster. The two have some similar symptoms too, which can confuse many.
Disseminated herpes may have the following symptoms:
- Atopic dermatitis
- A widespread eruption of vesicular sacs and pustule
- Orolabial and genital lesions
- Dysuria (difficulty or pain urinating)
Immunocompromised patients may not even experience orolabial and genital lesions during active disseminated herpes outbreaks. These patients need more aggressive care, as they are more at risk for more severe and frequent HSV infections, the involvement of internal organs, and weakened responsiveness to antiviral therapy. Among the primary immunodeficiencies linked to a higher risk of HSV, NK cell deficiencies appear frequently.
To be sure of the cause of these outbreaks, attending physicians will generally take a sample from the lesion and blood.
The primary agent in disseminated herpes is the herpes virus. In treating the condition, doctors target the virus through antiviral therapy.
- Acyclovir has been administered IV, which showed an overwhelmingly positive effect on the symptoms.
- Valacyclovir is then taken orally for some time.
When these two drugs were administered, patients typically showed a rapid resolution in their fever, rash, and lesions.
Suffering From Herpes Type 2 Outbreaks?
Herpezine is a specially formulated all-natural mixture of ingredients proven to help relieve and prevent HSV2 outbreaks when used as directed. This safe, over-the-counter Herpes treatment contains both traditional homeopathic and scientifically proven anti-viral ingredients such as L-Lysine HCI and Bee Propolis. Learn more about Herpezine on our website and visit our pricing page to purchase your first bottle.
About The Author
Terrence Tan Ting is an industrial engineer by profession but a full time writer by passion. He loves to write about a wide range of topics from many different industries thanks to his undying curiosity.