According to statistics, anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of American adults have the potential to develop cold sores. There is a significant difference between the low end and high end of that range. However, even if the actual percentage is closer to the low end; or exactly 50 percent that is still a large number of people.
Why are these conditions so prevalent?
The primary reason for the abundance of oral herpes cases is the way in which the disease can be transmitted. Yes, the condition can be spread from one person to another and relatively easily if precautions are not taken. The good news is that precautions are relatively easy to follow once you know the rules.
Most commonly, cold sores are caused by the herpes simplex 1 virus. This virus is also known as HSV-1. In rare instances, they can be caused by the herpes simplex 2 virus, which also causes genital herpes.
Oral herpes are usually found on or around the mouth—thus the name. This location can also play a role in the transmission of the bumps from one person to another. With them being so close to the mouth, they are sometimes spread by kissing. If you kiss someone who has the disease and you make contact with the outbreak you are at risk of contracting the virus. Even a casual kiss on the cheek can spread them.
If you have cold sores, you can take simple measures to ensure that you do not pass them along. First and foremost avoid any contact that would create an opportunity for the transmission. That means no kissing and do not touch the sores as you could get some of the fluid from them on your hands and then transmit the fluid to your own face or to a third person.
Following these simple rules can make a big difference and limiting the spread of the condition.