Coachella herpes spike: Record 250 cases reported per day near festival

INDIO, Calif. -- Coachella is famous for its performances, but it's getting some notoriety because of a record-setting surge in herpes.

Herp Alert, a website that diagnoses and treats herpes, says cases of the disease skyrocketed in towns surrounding the famed music festival.

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If you know someone headed to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, make sure you pay attention.

That includes Los Angeles and San Diego, where many concert-goers live.

Between the two weekends of Coachella, Herp Alert tallied up 250 herpes cases per day -- and that's a record. Typically, Herp Alert responds to about 12 cases a day.

Factors such as sharing drinks, cigarettes, sun exposure and little sleep can cause a flare-up for those who already carry herpes.

"This virus gets such a negative connotation because of its association with intercourse, but people live with this virus every single day," said Dr. Cedrick "Jamie" Rutland.

While not all herpes are sexually transmitted, practicing safe sex or avoiding sharing food and drinks can reduce exposure to both forms of herpes. If an outbreak occurs, Rutland suggests taking an anti-viral medication to reduce the number of outbreak days.
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