Herpes can be passed on from mothers to their children during pregnancy if they have been exposed to the virus, also known as neonatal herpes. Herpes commonly travels during delivery through infected secretion in the birth canal. And if that doesn’t do the job, a simple show of affection such as being kissed by someone with active cold sores does it.
A rudimentary method of diagnosing herpes is by looking at visual pointers such as the growth of lesions and sores. More precise methods such as blood testing offer a more comprehensive insight into the disease and provide conclusive evidence of the presence of herpes. These blood tests use immunoblotting, or ELISA, to spot glycoprotein G herpes. Another method known as western blotting can be used, but it doesn’t have approval from the FDA.
In hopes of curbing further outbreaks of herpes simplex, the Roman emperor Tiberius is said to have banned kissing in public. Kissing traditions, ceremonial kisses, and similar rituals were replaced with oaths, written documents, and handshakes
Herpes infections went untreated before the advent of modern medicine. Treatments weren’t available until the invention of antiviral experimental drugs in the 1960s. These drugs would prevent the virus from replicating its DNA, effectively putting a stop to its rapid multiplication.
Their use as DNA replication inhibits was used for more life threatening and serious infections such as herpes keratitis, herpes encephalitis, or patients with immunodeficiency problems due to HIV, chemotherapy, or organ transplants.
The most commonly used medications to treat herpes infections were 1-β-D-arabinofuranosylcytosine, 5-iodo-2'-deoxyuridine, and idoxuridine. Other variants of medication include ribivarin, interferon, 5-methoxymethyl-2'-deoxyuridine and trifluorothymidine.
More effective treatments became available during the 70s when researchers developed acyclovir or 9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl) guanine. This drug had better efficacy and became the official drug of choice to treat herpes simplex infection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Another common use of the drug was treatment of herpes in infants.
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