Why cold sores strike in the summer; The Herpes of sunlight, return of the particle empire.

One of the parameters that we use to define “life” is an organism’s ability to think or react.  This can be  as primitive as a bacterium moving away from an environment that is hazardous to its survival or as complex as a human contemplating the origins of morality.  There has been much discussion as to whether a virus should be considered a life-form.  They don’t have a metabolism, they don’t replicate on their own… but do they think?

The Herpes virus is said to have roughly 5000 variants.  They share some common behaviors.  The folks of CSI would say that they follow a common “M.O” modus operandi.  The goal of the virus is to reproduce and it has to use the cell machinery of a living cell to do this.  The Herpes virus hides in the nerve ganglia where the immune system cannot find them or reach them.  When the time is right, they migrate down to the ends of the nerves and inject themselves into cells.  The viral RNA then directs the cell machinery into making more of that section of the cell’s DNA where the virus has embedded.  This fools the cells into replicating the virus.  Some would say this is clever.  But are we attributing cleverness to a viral particle?

These Herpes virus will lay-in-wait in the safety of the nerve ganglia until they sense that a great deal of cell replication is happening.  When you go out in the sun during the summer, the UV rays kill lots of vulnerable skin cells.  If you have ever bitten you lip, you know just how quickly these cells can multiply and repair damage.  Well it should be no wonder then why the Herpes virus likes to use skin cells (especially around the mouth) to do its reproduction duties.  There are lots of them and they reproduce at a tremendous rate.  The rate of reproduction is accelerated when the UV has damaged lots of the skin cells.  This is a perfect time to send particles out from hiding to make more particles.  ”Brilliant”, you might say of this timing and exploitation.  But are we attributing brilliance to a viral particle?

While the replication parade is occurring, the immune system of your body sees the virus and marks the cells which contain them with “T-cells”.  Then the white blood cells lumber along and try to “eat” the cells which have been infected with the viral DNA in an effort to stop this un-authorized replication of the invader.  The freshly minted viral particles then rush back through the nerve cells to the ganglia to replenish the numbers there.  This maintains the replication stock of virus at healthy levels.  ”Why this is a selfish act of self-preservation”, you cry.  Are we now attributing self-preservation to a “life-less” particle?

So what do we do about this?  We’re fighting a clever, even brilliant enemy that is hell-bent on self-preservation.  It can hide, move, replicate and run.  One of the ingredients in Shingleze (which are both intended to inhibit Herpes viral replication) is Humic Acid.  This is an acidic molecule that is actually derived from soil.  When you apply these products to areas where Herpes virus is moving about trying to penetrate future host-cells, you actually are filling the area with decoys.  You see, the surface of the humic acid has exposed “keys” that resemble those found on skin cells.  Thousands, ney millions of viral particles are fooled by the decoys and hook-up to them.  The viral particles then try to inject their DNA into what they think are cells only to find that they have tossed their seed upon dry ground (metaphorically speaking of course).  The viral particles that have forever locked themselves to these decoys of humic acid cannot replicate.  But the immune system of your body can detect them and begin its attack.

With T-Cells flying and white blood cells munching, your body destroys more of these particles than otherwise possible.  Indeed, the viral replication mission is aborted with far less viral replenishment.  What’ more important is that since fewer of the particles have invaded the skin cells, the damage done by white blood cells gobbling up the infected skin cells is far less.  Less gobbling means less skin damage.  This in-turn means shorter healing time for the aborted lesion.

Shingleze saved the day by keeping the damage to a minimum.  They then have herbs which accelerate the repair, reduce the pain and quell the nerves.  ”But why quell the nerves?” you ask.  Well, the Herpes virus that are hiding in the nerve ganglia eves-drop on the nerves to determine when there has been damage (represented by pain) to the skin.  That is how they know when to come out of hiding and migrate down to the ends of the nerves where the new skin cells are being made at a furious rate.  ”Know?” did I say “Know”?  how can a simple viral particle ‘know’ when the best time is to come out and replicate?

It’s not alive is it?  It’s a viral particle…   Well, I’ll let you be the judge.  All I know is that when Herpes strikes, I want the full defensive force of Shingleze to stop the outbreak, quell the pain and heal the damage as quickly as possible.  Don’t you?

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