Both HSV-1 and HSV-2 live in nerve cells, usually under the skin. Neither virus is always active. They often remain silent or inactive in these cells, sometimes for many years or even a lifetime. This is called “latency.” For reasons not entirely understood by researchers, the viruses can become active and cause symptoms, which include sores around the mouth or near the genitals. This is called “reactivation.” These symptoms can come and go in what is known as outbreaks, or “flare-ups.”
During a flare-up, the virus becomes active and causes a chain of events leading to a cluster of small bumps to form. The bumps may rupture, heal, and then disappear for an indefinite period of time.
What are the symptoms of herpes?
The symptoms of herpes depends on the site of disease:
Oral herpes (cold sores): Sores around the mouth and nostrils. They may itch or be painful. They might look like the sore in the picture above.
Genital herpes: Sores on the penis in males or near or in the vagina in women. Genital herpes can also cause sores near the anus, including the area between the anus and the genital (the perineum). Sometimes, genital herpes can cause pain when urinating or defecation. They might look like the sores in the picture below.
Herpes is contracted through direct skin contact (not necessarily in the genital area) with an infected person, and less frequently by indirect contact (for instance, by sharing lip balm or a virus infested shared towel). The virus travels through tiny breaks in the skin (or mucous membranes in the mouth and genital areas), so, healthy skin and mucous membranes are normally an effective barrier to infection. However, in the case of mucous membranes, even microscopic abrasions are sufficient to expose the nerve endings into which the virus splices itself. This is why most herpes transmission happens in mucous membranes, or in areas of the body where mucous membranes and normal skin merge (e.g., the corners of the mouth).
Symptoms may not appear for up to a month or more after infection.
Transmission was thought to be most common during an active outbreak; however, in the early 1980s, it was found that the virus can be shed from the skin in the absence of symptoms.
It is estimated that between 50% and 80% of new HSV-2 cases are from asymptomatic viral shedding.
Facts about carbohydrates: weight-loss reward
You already know that a diet high in unrefined carbohydrates can enhance weight loss, if that's what you're after. One reason for this is that carbohydrates are such a clean-burning fuel: The body's capacity to store carbohydrates is limited, so they are less likely to be stockpiled as body fat, the way excess dietary fat is. And there's also the fact that you feel fuller after eating carbohydrates.
At Cornell University, Dr. Lauren Lissner examined the effects of varying the dietary fat in her subjects' diets. All the subjects were encouraged to eat as much food as they wanted, and all the food offered to them was judged to be equally palatable. Dr. Lissner and her colleagues found that the subjects automatically ate 600 to 700 fewer calories per day on the low-fat (15 to 20 percent fat calories) high-carbohydrate diet than on the high-fat (45 to 50 percent fat calories) diet, and the participants found the low-fat food just as satisfying. Not surprisingly, the subjects on the low-fat diet were losing weight and those on the high-fat diet were gaining weight.
To sum up, foods rich in carbohydrates in their whole or minimally processed state are the very best for your body. And most are also nutritional bargains: Naturally satisfying and low in fat, they are generous providers of vitamins, minerals, trace elements, essential fatty acids, protein, fiber, and energy in return for much less fat. But of the refined carbohydrates - both simple and complex - that still predominate in American diets today, even the ones that are "enriched" (such as white bread and presweetened breakfast cereals) have far fewer of most of their original nutrients, and little if any of the fiber of their whole, natural counterparts.