How many people have oral herpes?

Herpes simplex type 1, the virus that causes oral herpes, is very contagious. In fact, approximately 90% people in the U.S. will have antibodies (showing exposure) to HSV-1 by the age of 40. It's difficult to avoid infection. In order to prevent catching the virus, do not kiss or share personal items (eating utensils, cups, lipstick, lip balm, razors, etc.) with anyone who has a cold sore -- but bear in mind that a cold sore doesn't have to be present for a person to have and spread the disease.

Continue Learning about Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

Oral Herpes (Cold Sores)

If you have a cold sore then you have been affected by the contagious virus herpes simplex type 1, otherwise known as oral herpes. Herpes simplex type 1 differs from herpes simplex type 2, which will usually cause sores in your ge...

nital area. If you have oral herpes you may never notice any symptoms. Or, you may develop painful sores on your lips or other facial areas that last for many days. To relieve the pain of your cold sores, consider pain-relieving ointments, as there is no medical cure for oral herpes. However, if your cold sore does not clear up within one to two weeks, visit your doctor to make sure there is no underlying bacterial infection.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.