Recent news broke that a case of herpes ran rampant throughout this year’s Coachella festival. However, according to Billboard, health professionals are claiming fake news!
The rumor came about when an app named HerpAlert seemed to have picked up a spike in the sexually transmitted disease during the time of the concert. However, Public Information Officer Jose Arballo says he hasn’t seen solid proof. The Riverside Department of Public Health agent explained, “I reached out to our lab departments, disease control, and our HIV and STD program and none of them reported a spike in herpes cases.”
So where did this “outbreak” hysteria come from? Well, HerpAlert’s medical director, Lynn Marie Morski, told Billboard the rise in electronically diagnosed herpes was most likely given before the festival. Yes, all of the hype is coming from users basically taking a picture of a suspected-diseased area and getting an immediate diagnosis of either herpes or cold sores after paying $79.
Sounds silly, right? Board-certified physician Dr. Jill Grimes agrees.
“My first reaction is that the whole thing is kind of silly because symptoms don’t typically show up in 24 hours…Typically it’s a situation where a person hooks up on the weekend and starts having symptoms on a Tuesday.”
Morski has since made sure to clear up the app’s alleged rise in numbers by describing it as “people deciding to take proactive care of their health,” before interacting with anyone during Coachella weekend. She also admitted to not having a specific number of “diagnosed new cases.”