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Report: Herpes cases up at Coachella festival, in surrounding cities

Posted at 9:12 AM, Apr 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-27 11:43:02-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - You can now add sexually transmitted diseases to the list of souvenirs at Coachella.

Data compiled by HerpAlert , a website that diagnoses and helps treat herpes, shows a rise in herpes cases at the Indio music festival and in surrounding cities, including San Diego. HerpAlert is an online service that allows user to upload photos of their suspected infection for a clinical diagnosis and prescription.

HerpAlert reported up to 250 herpes cases per day during the two recent weekends of Coachella -- a record number.

Normally, HerpAlert sees about 12 cases per day.

Herpes symptoms include blisters, ulcers, and itching in the affected areas.

According to the World Health Organization website, infection with the herpes simplex virus "can be due to either herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) or herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral to oral contact to cause infection in or around the mouth (oral herpes)."

"HSV-2 is almost exclusively sexually transmitted, causing infection in the genital or anal area (genital herpes). However, HSV-1 can also be transmitted to the genital area through oral-genital contact to cause genital herpes," WHO says.

"HSV-1 is most contagious during an outbreak of symptomatic oral herpes, but can also be transmitted when no symptoms are felt or visible," WHO says.