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Herpes antiviral medication – will it help people with Covid-19 (Coronavirus)? And are people with herpes more susceptible?

The short answer is no – herpes antiviral medication will not help with flu. (This a question that we have been asked lately – of course!)

There are millions of different viruses in the world. Antiviral drugs that work to suppress herpes viruses (herpes simplex and herpes varicella – chickenpox) have no impact on any of these other viruses. And this includes those that cause colds, flu and Covid-19.   

For more about the origins of herpes antiviral medication go to: https://herpes.org.uk/how-herpes-got-its-stigma/

Will taking antivirals make any difference to getting Covid-19?

Taking antiviral pills will make no difference to your immune response – the pills work only on the virus, not on human cells at all.

Susceptibility – should people with herpes worry more about Covid-19?

The short answer is no. (This is the other question that has come up a lot!)

At least two thirds of adults carry herpes simplex infections (facial cold sores and/or genital herpes) by age 25 – all over the world. Herpes simplex may cause symptoms in people when they are ill or stressed. But its effect on the immune system of otherwise healthy people is minimal and having herpes is not likely to make any difference to people who catch Covid-19.

People with other pre-existing conditions may be seriously affected by Covid-19. More information here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-51703892