The most common cause of cold sores is the HSV-1 virus.  This virus is contracted by most Canadians during childhood or adolescence and the vast majority of adults, up to 80%, are seropositive for HSV-1, but often without symptoms.  For those who develop occasional cold sores, episodes tend to be mild and self-limiting, but the impact on quality of life can be significant for those with frequent recurrences.  There are a number of common misconceptions about the cause, transmission and treatm...

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