How Many Americans Have the Cold Sore Virus?

Only 20% guessed correctly.

Most of us know what cold sores are. But how many of us know how common they are? We surveyed 502 adults to find out.

According to the CDC, about 48% of Americans over the age of 50 carry HSV-1, the virus that’s known to cause cold sores.

That means that about a quarter of our respondents think the virus is more common than it is, but, notably, a quarter think it’s much less common than it is.

Some may believe the virus is less common than it is because many people who carry the virus don’t show any symptoms, like cold sores. That can also mean people who carry the virus may not know it and therefore might spread it unknowingly. The virus can be spread by skin-to-skin contact, or even by sharing toothbrushes, eating utensils and drinking glasses.

Even though it’s not possible to get rid of the virus once you get it, there are treatment options for when cold sores do arise. One of the most commonly prescribed treatments is a pill called valacyclovir (or generic Valtrex).

Think valacyclovir might help you? Talk to your doctor or add a telemedicine consultation onto your purchase through Blink to learn more about it.

Data based on survey of 502 respondents conducted by Blink Health through Google Surveys. This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 233 Spring Street, 8th Floor East, New York, NY 10013, (844) 366–2211,