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Difference Between HSV 1 and HSV 2

hs-virusHSV 1 vs HSV 2

The herpes simplex virus is one of the most common viruses found in the world. It is also one of the most rampant sexually transmitted diseases. There are two kinds of herpes viruses. These are the herpes simplex virus1 (HSV1) and the herpes simplex virus2 (HSV2).

The main difference between the two viruses relate to their symptoms. The typical symptoms of a HSV 1 infection include sores around the mouth and face. HSV 2 on the other hand is typically associated with genital herpes. It manifests in the form of sores around the genital area.

The second difference relates to the age at which the virus first enters the human body. HSV 1 is a very common virus and affects people around the world. In fact, it is estimated that over 80% of the population will come into contact with this virus by the time they are 25! Since it spreads by contact with bodily fluids, even a young child of 10 may contract it. However, HSV2 is spread only through sexual contact. As a result, it affects mainly teenagers and young adults.

Another difference between the two viruses arises out of the area where they ‘nest’. This is also referred to as the ‘site of preference’. The HSV 1 virus usually prefers nesting at a place called the trigeminal ganglion. It is actually a collection of nerve cells that are located just behind the ear. As a result, the patient usually complains of an eruption around the facial region. HSV2 on the other hand becomes latent in the sacral ganglion, which is a collection of nerves that is situated at the base of the spine. As a result, outbreaks of herpes generally occur in the genital area of the person.
It is important to note that this is a factor that is commonly noticed. Both the viruses can cause outbreaks on the face and the genital area. However, these are quite rare.

Another difference relates to the immunity they provide to a patient with alternative infections. If a patient has had an exposure to the HSV1 virus, he can contract the HSV 2 also. However, it is usually seen that a patient who has been exposed to the HSV 2 virus develops a sort of immunity to the HSV 1 virus.

Both HSV 1 and 2 can be prevented by adequate information and management. The key is to get treatment as soon as possible and not to spread it through negligence to another person.

Summary:
1. HSV 1 manifests as sores around the mouth and face, HSV2 as sores in the genital area.
2. HSV 1 affects young adults and children. However, HSV2 affects sexually active adults.
3. HSV 1 nests in the trigeminal ganglion and affects the face and mouth. HSV 2 nests at the sacral ganglion and affects the genital areas.
4. An attack of HSV 2 makes the patient immune to HSV 1. No such immunity is conferred on patients who suffer from HSV1.


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