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Nov 02, 2015 06:45 AM EST

Herpes affects 67% of the world population under 50, says WHO report.


According to a global assessment by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the rate of two types of herpes virus, around 3.7 billion people in the world have one type of herpes, Apex Tribune reports.

For the global assessment, the researchers studied the frequency of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). While HSV-1 causes orolabial herpes (cold sores) around the mouth, HSV-2 causes genital herpes. HSV-2 may lead to an increased risk of becoming infected with HIV.

According to Dr. Marleen Temmerman, from WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research, both are "highly infectious and incurable".

Herpes does not always cause symptoms most of the population are never aware they are carrying the virus.

According to their tests, WHO has found that 67% of the world's population under 50 years old has one type of herpes virus. Among them, 417 million have HSV-2, or genital herpes.

It is also an interesting fact that herpes is more common in well-developed and rich nations.

According to Sami Gottlieb, a medical officer for WHO, there is a need to fasten the development of proper means to fight all herpes simplex viruses.

There are no vaccines to prevent herpes or ones that would completely treat herpes. It's one of the major concerns that the organization means to tackle next.

WHO will be presenting new strategies against the disease in 2016, at their annual World Health Assembly.

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