The Good Side of Herpes Virus? Really?

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Herpes is painful, gross and incurable. So how can there be a good side to Herpes virus? You may not believe it, but herpes does benefit your body.

The Virus Strengthens the Immune System

The virus makes your immune system make more of a protein hormone called interferon gamma. This sets your system on high alert, so your immunes system is ready to attack other invaders. And in this case, it protects against bacterial infections like the plague and food poisoning.

Herpes strengthens the immune system.
Herpes strengthens the immune system.

But just in case you’re ready to give up on the benefits and the source, there may be still some hope. There’s a lot of research on the herpes virus and a lot of potential for cures and treatments.

The more common types of drugs like Acyclovir, tend to focus on the stage when the virus is multiplying on the skin, rather than the nerve cells. And that’s a tricky place since the virus can often build resistance to treatment at that stage but the scientists are working on that.

The Good News: Alternative Drugs that can Help Treat Herpes

Alternative anti-herpes drugs.
Alternative anti-herpes drugs.

Like in one study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, researchers found that the herpes virus goes through a kind of bottleneck in the body as it moves from its dormant stage in nerve cells and skin cells. Only a few cells make the heroine journey, and once they’re in the skin cells, usually on the lip, that’s where they multiply.

So scientists are looking to target these transitional periods since the virus may be more susceptible to drug treatments. So scientists keep working on drugs that are effective at the earlier stages like one drug tested in the study of Journal Translational Science of Medicine. They used and epigenetic approach.