Transmission is only through humans and no other agents are involved.
Some of the important risk factors for oral herpes are:
- Contact with infected saliva
- Kissing or other close physical contact with infected person
- Cross-infection of type 1 and 2 viruses can occur from oral to genital contact
- Exposure of health care providers (physicians, surgeons, dentists, nurses) to oral secretions during medical or surgical procedures
- Infection of mother's nipple while the infected baby breastfeeds
- Inoculation or injection of virus into susceptible mucosal surface
- Injuries or minor cuts help the virus to gain entry into skin
- Nail biters or thumb suckers get herpetic whitlow (herpetic finger infection) through infected saliva
- Skin-to-skin contact in heavy contact sports such as wrestlers and rugby players
- Occasionally through sharing food and drinks, utensils, towels,underclothes, etc.
These are the main risk factors for oral herpes which contribute to the development of Herpes.