Unlike some viruses, like the flu virus that can be transmitted through the air you breathe, the herpes virus spreads by direct skin to skin contact. This means that the disease is transmitted when there is contact with the infected area like a cold sore. The virus is also transmitted via sexual intercourse and then causes genital herpes and there is no cure for herpes.
The disease can be spread at other times, not just during cold sore outbreaks. Sometimes it is possible to transmit the disease when there are “prodromal symptoms” present, which manifest when there are itching and tingling sensations on the skin.
Transmission is possible also when there are no symptoms present or between outbreaks. This “asymptomatic transmission” cause people to transmit diseases without them being remotely aware that they have the disease.