It’s almost everywhere. According to a new report issued by the World Health Organization, some 3.7 billion people around the world — under the age of 50 — are infected with the herpes virus that causes cold sores around the mouth.
There are two varieties of the virus — the herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) virus, which is the oral type, and the herpes simplex 2 (HSV), which causes sores on the genitals. The problem is that HSV-1 can also cause sores on the genitals and with the increase in oral sex, more people developing symptoms of HSV-1 on their genitals.
“The global burden of HSV-1 infection is huge,” the WHO said in the report. Indeed, neither virus can be cured and they each can be spread very easily. Both viruses can result in recurring and painful blisters, and they can both spread even when the symptoms aren’t apparent. Both types of herpes can be treated — but they cannot be cured.
Read the full story at NBC News.