Study: You Probably Have Herpes

In its first ever global assessment of the prevalence of the herpes virus that causes cold sores, the World Health Organization reports in the journal PLoS ONE that two in three humans under the age of 50 are infected with the incurable virus. That’s an estimated 3.7 billion people. The WHO had previously done the same assessment for herpes simplex virus type 2, aka genital herpes, and found that 417 million people ages 17-49 have it. HSV-1, by contrast, is transmitted by oral-oral contact (often via childhood kisses, notes NBC News) and causes cold sores. “However, HSV-1 is an increasing cause of genital infection,” they write, with the prevalence of genital HSV-1 being highest in the Americas. Read more on Newser…