Virology: A Vaccine for Cold Sores

To most of its victims, the cold sore that breaks out on the lips is an annoying, repetitive sign of a not too serious infection. But unlike its more benign viral cousins that cause the common cold, the herpes simplex virus that produces cold sores or fever blisters can in rare instances cause blindness, if it spreads to the eye, and death, if it reaches the brain. For years medical researchers have unsuccessfully attempted to concoct a herpes vaccine that would provide immunity.

Last week the British Medical Jour nal finally noted some encouraging news for cold-sore sufferers; in Paris,...

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