Medical risk to a peck on the lips (and why you shouldn't kiss when sick)

Perhaps it's better to keep your mouth away from anyone else's, to avoid the small chance of contracting anything.

Medical expert Prof Francois Venter says there is a minor risk of herpes viruses transmitted to infants through kissing.

This comes after a heated debate was sparked when actress Hilary Duff kissed her 4-year-old son on the lips on Monday.

There are several viruses that can be transmitted by kissing, the only way to avoid them is to never kiss anybody.

Prof Francois Venter, Deputy Executive Director, WHI (Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases

Venter says that exposure to herpes (which causes cold sores) starts at a young age.

If your mouth is not healthy, or if you have the flu or cold, you shouldn't be kissing anybody. It's kind of common sense.

Prof Francois Venter, Deputy Executive Director, WHI (Wits Institute for Sexual & Reproductive Health, HIV and Related Diseases

Take a listen to the full explanation:

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