GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- It can be an awkward topic to talk about, but it will be tough to avoid the subject of herpes in downtown Grand Rapids this week.
The 38th Annual International Herpes Virus Workshop is underway at DeVos Place.
About 500 researchers and scientists are taking part in the conference to address subjects that go far beyond most people's basic understanding of the herpes virus.
"There are eight different human herpes viruses, and many others that infect animals, that are important to us," Steve Triezenberg of the Van Andel Institute says. "The human viruses include the herpes simplex type one, which causes cold sores, the chicken pox virus which we experienced as children and again as seniors as it reactivates as shingles."
A number of the researchers wore tee shirts that read "Herpes is Here." The workshop continues through Wednesday.