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How long it takes herpes to cause an outbreak in females after getting infected?

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Hello doctor, I am a 22 years old male and I have been with my girlfriend for about a year but haven’t had sex for the last few weeks, as we are living in different countries for a while. But recently she told that she has got infected with genital herpes and what shocked me was that she got the infection n when she is in France and I am in Scotland. I don’t think that it is me who caused herpes transmission to her and the news shocked me. Now, I would like to know is whether I can give her the infection without having an outbreak in me, till now? Or is there a possibility that she got the infection from somewhere else? Also, I doubt the time taken to get an outbreak after getting infected. Please help me to clear my doubts. Thank you.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 21 Doctors Online

Thanks for your question. Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted disease w hich affects males and females alike. It is caused by Herpes Simplex Virus of two types, HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. It is transmitted primarily through sexual contact with infected people. It can also be spread through saliva exchange through kissing or through oral sex. The mode of transmission affects the area of infection too, as virus localizes its presence in the infected area, as the virus is infected through mucus membrane. The worst part of the disease is that even infected people may not know that they are getting infected and can spread the disease to others who come in sexual contact with them. Moreover outbreak signs and symptoms of herpes need not be severe and can go mild so that infected people may not notice it. Generally, the first outbreak of disease causes cold sores which last for about 2-3 weeks and go away by its own. Recurrence is common year after year and only the first outbreak is severe. Some people will not have to experience a second outbreak if their immunity system is strong enough. But in some others, it is seen to get outbreaks every now and then even after 40 years of age. It is better for you too to test for the presence of infection so that rest will be assured. HSV is treated symptomatically. Antiviral medications are used as cold sore remedies. Treatment for herpes includes Valtrex and Valacyclovir administration. Hope my answer helps. Take care.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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