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Health officials respond after reports of Coachella herpes spike

News 29/04/2019

Last week news reports emerged stating that a herpes outbreak in Southern California was linked to Coachella.

Statistics from app HerpAlert revealed there had been a 2,038% increase in reported herpes cases, with 1,105 cases reported in total.

Thankfully, the reality is a bit less severe. Jose Arballo, public information officer for the Riverside Department of Public Health, said his agency has not seen any evidence pointing to an 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 said according to several outlets.

Lynn Marie Morski, HerpAlert’s medical director, has also clarified the company’s findings.

“There were many coming to get medication to treat and prevent flares,” she said. "We do not have a number of diagnosed new cases, as sometimes we cannot determine via their history and photos, so we have to advise they see a provider in person.”

“We see it as people deciding to take proactive care of their health and the health of those they may interact with over the weekend."

Regardless, the reports - however true or severe they may be - still serve as a good reminder to always practice safe sex.