You probably have herpes, the WHO says

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WHO: More Than Half The World Has Herpes

Two-thirds of the world's population under 50 have the highly infectious herpes virus that causes cold sores around the mouth, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday, in its first estimate of global prevalence of the disease.

More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 suffer from the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), usually after catching it in childhood, according to a the WHO study.

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That is in addition to 417 million people in the 15-49 age range who have the other form of the disease, HSV-2, which causes genital herpes.

HSV-1 normally causes mouth ulcers rather than genital infection, but it is becoming an increasing cause of genital infection too, mainly in rich countries.

READ MORE:Tuberculosis passes HIV as No. 1 infectious disease

That is because improved hygiene in rich countries is lowering HSV-1 infection rates in childhood, leaving young people more at risk of catching it via oral sex when they become sexually active.

HSV-2 can increase the risk of catching and spreading HIV, the disease that causes AIDS. Little is known about any link between HSV-1 and HIV/AIDS, although it can lead to other serious complications such as encephalitis.

Nathalie Broutet, also a WHO medical officer, said the U.S. National Institutes of Health and companies including GlaxoSmithKline Plc were involved in trials to determine whether a therapeutic or preventative vaccine was preferable.

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Gottlieb said GSK had previously abandoned a vaccine trial after finding the product was not effective against HSV-2, although it did show some efficacy against HSV-1.

"That was interesting and promising and gave a proof of concept that these vaccines can be developed. There's a lot of work ongoing and we're hopeful that we'll have an HSV vaccine in the future," she said.

Several phase-1 and phase-2 trials were underway, she said. Genocea Biosciences Inc recently dropped work on a pneumonia vaccine in favour of its more promising work on genital herpes.

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You probably have herpes, the WHO says

The first step to accessing the recommendations is to select from among the following broad product groups. Here are the 13, along with standout winners.

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Cough, Cold and Allergy

- Cold Remedies: Cepacol

- Oral Antihistamines: Claritin

- Oral Decongestants: Sudafed (pseudoephedrine)

Image Credit: Alamy

Diabetes Health

- Diabetic Neuropathy Products: Capzasin

- Diabetic Multivitamins: Nature Made

- Oral Glucose Products: Glucerna

Image Credit: Getty

Diagnostics

- Blood Sampling Devices/Lancets: OneTouch

- Blood Pressure Monitors: Omron

- Peak Flow Meters: Omron

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Eyes, Ears, Nose and Throat 

- Contact Lens Solutions: Opti-Free 

- Saline Nasal Moisturizers: Ocean

- Sore Throat Liquids, Sprays and Strips: Chloraseptic

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First Aid

- Adhesive Bandages: Band-Aid

- Topical Antibiotics and Antiseptics: Neosporin

- Sun Burn Relief: Solarcaine (Cool Aloe Burn Relief Formula Pain Relieving Gel)

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Oral Care

- Cold Sore Treatments: Abreva

- Toothpaste (general use): Crest 

- Therapeutic Mouthwashes/Oral Rinses: Listerine

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Pain and Inflammation

- Headache Products: Advil

- Migraine Headache Products: Excedrin Migraine

- Anti-Inflammatory Products: Advil

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Pediatrics

- Children’s Cough and Cold Combinations: Children’s Dimetapp

- Infant Formula: Enfamil

- Children’s Sore Throat Products: Chloraseptic Kids Sore Throat Spray

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Stomach and GI

- Upset Stomach Remedies: Pepto-Bismol

- Antacids: Tums

- Nausea Remedies: Emetrol

Image Credit: Alamy

Topicals

- Sunscreen: Neutrogena

- Lip Balms: Carmex

- Acne Products: Neutrogena

Image Credit: Getty

Vitamins and Supplements

- Nutritional Supplements: Ensure

- Multivitamins: Centrum

- Prenatal Vitamins: One A Day Prenatal

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Women's Health

- Menstrual Pain Relief: Midol

- PMS Symptom Relief: Hyland’s PMS

- Urinary Pain Relief: AZO Standard

Image Credit: Shutterstock

More Health Products

- Sleep Aids: Unisom

- Smoking Cessation Aids: NicoDerm CQ Patch

- Snore Aids: Breathe Right

Image Credit: Getty

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