According to Newsweek, areas near the Coachella Music Festival have experienced a massive increase in the number of individuals who report having herpes over the past two weeks since the start of the music festival.
TMZ reported Thursday that an online herpes diagnostic center, HerpAlert, has seen a spike in the number of users looking for a discreet and fast diagnosis. HerpAlert confirmed in a statement that they have experienced a massive increase in STD treatment prescriptions since as early as the first day of the festival.
HerpAlert, on a typical day, serves around 12 patients digitally. But two days into Coachella, 250 people located primarily in the Indio, Palm Desert, and Coachella Valley areas reported having an STD. More than 1,105 cases have been documented since then, HerpAlert told TMZ.
The diagnostic center enables users to upload photos of infected areas to receive diagnoses, advice, and prescriptions within hours.
Herpes, according to the World Health Organization in 2015, is active in nearly 70 percent of the global population. More than 3.7 billion people, WHO reported, had HSV-1, the oral herpes virus that causes ulcers near the mouth. According to WHO, oral herpes is spread easily through mouth-to-mouth contact. Herpes is also often transmitted through sexual interactions, but it is not transferable through sharing food or drink, Planned Parenthood reports.