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Herpes in Throat

writtenByWritten by: Mark Spera
Mark Spera

Mark Spera

Mark grew up in a family of healthcare providers and has always been fascinated by preventative medicine, infectious diseases and the intersection of big data and healthcare.

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December 10, 2020 Read Time - 3 minutes

What is Herpes in Throat?

Herpes in the throat, also known as herpes esophagitis is when herpes simplex virus invades the esophagus.

Herpes esophagitis is a viral infection caused by the herpes simplex virus.

There are two types of herpes virus HSV-1 and HSV-2:

  • HSV-1 is more commonly associated with herpes in the throat. This virus is the same one that causes cold sores and it is generally transmitted by mouth-to-mouth contact, but can also be passed through oral sex. It is also known as oral herpes.
  • HSV-2 is the primary cause of genital herpes, but can also cause oral herpes. It is typically passed through vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
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Who is at Risk for Herpes in Throat?

The herpes simplex virus affects two thirds of the global population, although herpes esophagitis isn’t very common in healthy people.

People who have weakened immune systems are more at risk to contracting herpes of the throat, they include people who have or have had:

  • HIV or AIDS
  • Leukemia or other cancers
  • An organ transplant
  • Diabetes
  • Any illness that compromises your immune system
  • Any autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus
  • People who abuse alcohol
  • People who take long-term antibiotics

Read: How to Get Tested for Herpes and Why it Matters


Symptoms of Herpes in Throat

The primary symptoms of herpes in the throat are:

  • Open sores in the mouth and throat (herpes labialis)
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Inflammation
  • Chest pain

Other secondary symptoms are:

  • Joint pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Not feeling well

Read: What Does Herpes Look Like


Prevention for Herpes in Throat

Herpes esophagitis is very rare and can be avoided by practicing safe sex. Ways to ensure you are not at risk of spreading or contracting the herpes virus are:

  • Using a condom
  • Using dental dams
  • Always informing your partner if you’re experiencing a herpes outbreak
  • Refraining from sexual relations while experiencing a herpes outbreak

The herpes virus is most contagious during an outbreak, but can be transmitted when no obvious symptoms are present.

  • Book on our free mobile app or website.

    Our doctors operate in all 50 states and same day appointments are available every 15 minutes.

  • See a doctor, get treatment and a prescription at your local pharmacy.

  • Use your health insurance just like you normally would to see your doctor.

PlushCare-App-Steps

Treatment for Herpes

There is no cure for herpes, however you should get treated as fast as possible if you believe you have it.

There are various medications available to help treat esophagitis caused by the herpes virus.

The following antibiotics can help:

If you believe you are experiencing a herpes outbreak, contact your doctor or a PlushCare doctor to get tested for herpes, confirm your diagnoses and start proper treatment.

To book an appointment with a PlushCare online doctor, click here.


Read More About Herpes in Throat

Sources:

PlushCare is dedicated to providing you with accurate and trustworthy health information.

Medical News Today. What is Herpes Esophagitis? Accessed October 12, 2019 at https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/323773.php

Mayo Clinic. Cold Sores. Accessed January 16, 2020 at https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cold-sore/symptoms-causes/syc-20371017

World Health Organization. Herpes Simplex Virus. Accessed January 16, 2020 at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

Kidshealth.org. Herpes Simplex Virus. Accessed January 16, 2020 at https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/cold-sores.html

Most PlushCare articles are reviewed by M.D.s, Ph.Ds, N.P.s, nutritionists and other healthcare professionals. Click here to learn more and meet some of the professionals behind our blog. The PlushCare blog, or any linked materials are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice, nor is the information a substitute for professional medical expertise or treatment. For more information click here.

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