How close are scientists to developing a cure for herpes, figuratively speaking will we be seeing a break through in 10, 20, or even 30 years?
There is both good news and bad news with regards to the herpes virus. The good news is that researchers have made serious advancements and now better understand the what causes most of the herpes virus. On the other side of the coin there is very little funding for that research.
A leading herpes expert, Bryan Cullen, the director at the Center for Virology at Duke University is hopeful that a cure for herpes could come within 10 years maybe earlier if the funding is there but still no herpes cure.
At least 20% of the population over age 12 in the U.S. is affected by herpes. It is caused by a virus which is either the herpes simplex virus type 1 or what we call HSV-1 or the herpes simplex virus type 2 or HSV-2. They can both cause genital herpes, but the difference is that HSV-1 usually infects the mouth and produces cold sores.
Despite funding challenges, Cullen and his team of researchers are getting close to a cure. Recent studies has led to the identification of the pathway herpes takes as it infects. They also discovered how herpes embeds itself into the cells and how it eludes treatment. Because of these breakthroughs researchers believe they are now really closer to developing a cure.
There are drugs out there that can at least suppress herpes. Three antiviral drugs: acyclovir, valacyclovir, and famciclovir are commonly recommended to subdue outbreaks.
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