Research links kisses in the Bronze Age to the origin of cold sores

Lip herpes

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Two-thirds of the world’s population under the age of 50 has the HSV-1 virus, according to the WHO

The spread of the cold sore virus dates back to the practice of kissing in the Bronze Age, according to a new study.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge, UK, have concluded that the HSV-1 strain of the herpes virus emerged during the great migrations of humans from Eurasia to Europe, about 5,000 years ago.

Migration has led to greater population density, which has increased transmission and new cultural practices, including kissing, according to the study’s findings.

The researchers studied DNA samples from thousands of years ago to understand how viruses adapted.

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