Symptoms of throat herpes

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Throat herpes, also known as oral herpes, is an infection caused by a virus and most commonly identified by cold sores on the lips. The sores can also appear near the mouth and in the throat. Symptoms such as mouth sores, fever blisters and fever can reoccur up to four times per year.

While the virus cannot be cured, more severe cases can warrant treatments including medication.


Throat herpes and genital herpes are both caused by two viruses: herpes simplex 1 and herpes simplex 2. Either virus can cause throat or genital herpes, but oral herpes is more commonly caused by the HSV-1 virus. In nearly three-quarters of oral herpes cases, the infection is caused by the HSV-1 virus. The virus is spread through kissing and other contact with the mouth, such as oral sex. Performing oral sex on a personal with genital herpes can cause throat herpes. A person with oral herpes can also give a person genital herpes through oral sex. A person does not have to have visible cold sores to pass on the virus.


Effects of oral herpes are soars on the mouth or lips. Sores can appear on the roof or base of the mouth, as well as the lips, back of throat and cheeks. Uncomfortable blisters can appear in mouth. Flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, can accompany the virus. In rare case, difficulty breathing or swallowing can occur. Symptoms can emerge anywhere from two days to three weeks after contracting the virus.


Avoid performing oral sex on someone with signs of genital herpes. Likewise, avoid receiving oral sex from anyone with signs of oral herpes. Condom use can help reduce exposure in both cases. Avoid kissing someone with cold sores. Don't share toothbrushes or other oral care items. Keeps hand away from mouth.


There is no cure for the herpes virus. Once a person is infected, oral herpes can reoccur—often up to four times per year, although cases after the first outbreak are normally less severe. Prescription drugs acyclovir, valtrex and famciclovir can ease symptoms in more severe cases. Creams are also available for treatment. Low daily doses of the drugs can be used in recurring cases.

If you suspect you have it...

Get checked by a physician. The doctor may conduct tests to confirm the presence of the virus. The physician could order a blood test as well.