NBC – Two-thirds of the world’s population has the virus that causes cold sores, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.
That’s 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 with the pesky and incurable herpes virus.
But it causes more than cold sores.
The herpes simplex 1 virus (HSV-1) can also cause sores on the genitals — and oral sex is becoming a leading way it’s being transmitted, the WHO reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS ONE.
“The global burden of HSV-1 infection is huge,” the WHO research team writes.
“An estimated 140 million people aged 15-49 years were calculated to have prevalent genital HSV-1 infection globally in 2012,” they wrote.
That means two kinds of incurable herpes viruses are causing sexually transmitted infections in the populations.