NOV 30, 2015 01:10 PM PST

Here

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) is abundant, contagious, and resilient. In fact, the virus is so hardy that it's survived for millions of years. Herpes 1 produces tell-tale cold sores on the lips, while Herpes 2 causes lesions in the genitals.

Estimates of Herpes incidence range from 60% to as high as 95% for adults worldwide. Why the high incidence? It turns out that you can contract, shed, and transmit the virus all without ever showing any symptoms. Many studies have shown that lack of active symptoms, like cold sores or genital lesions, is not a guarantee against infection, and that asymptomatic shedding is the key to such high incidence rate.

This probably means there's a high chance that you have the virus, even if you've never experienced any symptoms. Why isn't there a cure yet? Scientists haven't found a way to kill the virus during its dormant phase, meaning that there's always a fresh breed hiding out in our bodies. But while there are no cures yet, treatments exist to manage pain and quicken the healing period.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
The Universe is So Vast That Even the Speed of Light Seems Insignificant
When astronomers measure the distance between two distant objects in outer space, the term ‘light-year’ gets tossed around somewhat frequently....
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
How the Rosetta Mission Augmented Our Understanding of Comets
The European Space Agency (ESA) launched its Rosetta mission in 2004 to study the particularly captivating comet 67P, and after a ten-year journey, the mis...
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
Here's Why NASA Wants to Crash a Spacecraft Into an Asteroid
Yes, you read that right; NASA would like to slam a purposefully built spacecraft into the surface of an asteroid. While this idea might seem like a substa...
NOV 21, 2019
Plants & Animals
NOV 21, 2019
What Makes Cheetahs Such Adept Predators?
The humble cheetah has earned its reputation as the world’s fastest land animal. This large cat is capable of accelerating to speeds of up to 60 mile...
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
Could the Successful Juno Mission See an Extension Beyond 2021?
The Juno mission, launched by NASA in 2011 to explore the fascinating Jovian system, finally arrived at its destination in 2016. Since then, the spacecraft...
NOV 21, 2019
Space & Astronomy
NOV 21, 2019
What You Need to Know About NASA's Upcoming WFIRST Space Telescope
There are several space telescopes observing the cosmos at the very time of this writing, and there are plans to launch even more of them in the near futur...
Loading Comments...