A Post-Coachella Herpes Outbreak? Health Officials Respond.
Riverside County health officials are shooting down rumors of a herpes outbreak following the wildly popular Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio.
The reports began surfacing a couple of weeks ago after increased activity on the herpes treatment app HerpAlert. “Coachella herpes spike: Record 250 cases reported per day near festival,” reads a blaring headline from ABC7 News. After the festival, there was a “huge spike in folks looking to get treated for herpes,” according to TMZ.
While certainly intriguing, the Riverside County Department of Public Health’s Public Information Officer Jose Arballo says he’s seen no such increase.
"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," Arballo told Billboard.
The app’s director Lynn Marie Morski says the spike was most likely due to people proactively seeking treatment and flare prevention advice even prior to the festival. It’s also not uncommon to see increased awareness and testing after a large gathering, she said.
Los Angeles County health officials were also asked about the alleged explosion in herpes after Coachella. They too have not seen evidence of a new outbreak.