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article imageWHO study: 3.7 billion people infected with Herpes virus

By Marcus Hondro     Oct 29, 2015 in Health
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new study on the Herpes virus and it says more than half of the planet's humans under 50 are infected with it. CTV News in Canada spoke with an expert who said most of them don't even known it.
"Only one in 12 people who have herpes know that they have it, so there’s a huge ocean of people who are carriers of the virus and who have no idea," Dr. Neil Rau, an infectious disease expert, said on CTV's Canada AM. "It’s the type of virus that once you get it, you don’t actually clear it. It goes into a dormant state.
"Most people have no symptoms," Dr. Rau added. "Some reactivate once in a blue moon. Some people don’t reactivate but they shed the virus from time to time and that’s how they pass it to others."
WHO herpes study
The herpes WHO study results were published Thursday in the medical journal PLoS ONE under the title Global and Regional Estimates of Prevalent and Incident Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infections in 2012.
The hardest hit is the African continent, where 87 percent of the population is believed to be infected with Herpes Type 1 or Type 2; in Eastern Mediterranean it's 75 percent; in the Americas, the WHO study estimates 39 percent of women and 49 percent of men carry the virus.
Most of those with genital herpes are infected with Type 2, contacted through saliva, but Type 1, transmitted during oral sex, is on the rise due to a shift in sexual practices as more couples engage in oral sex.
Effects of herpes include sores and blisters that can recur four or even six times per year and flu-like symptoms such as a fever, swollen glands and fatigue. There is no cure and no way to avoid getting the virus should you come in contact with it.
Efforts to find a vaccination for the disease have proven unsuccessful.
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