According to Jose Arballo, a reputed member of the Riverside Department of Public Health, the reports of a herpes outbreak Coachella are completely false. "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," the public information officer told the press.

As you likely heard, a web-based resourced called HerpAlert is at the root of the news story. By sourcing their pool of data, TMZ was able to piece together a written report illustrating a 2,083% increase in reported herpes cases in Indio, California, and the surrounding townships

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Arballo's reluctance to accept HerpAlert's findings comes from a learned. Let me preface that by saying, I for one don't fully understand how the disease is transmitted, but I'll let Arballo's medical colleagues take it from here on out. 

“My first reaction is that the whole thing is kind of silly because symptoms don’t typically show up in 24 hours," said Dr. Jill Grimes, a respected medical practitioner who authored a fairly comprehensive book titled "Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs." After looking into it myself, I can honestly say she's right: herpes does indeed incur a period of gestation before it rears its ugly head.

With that said, the opinion of several medical officials doesn't disprove HerpAlert's findings - within a shadow of a doubt. In its initial report, HerpAlert did state that their findings were based off a week's worth of data. In either case, HerpAlert does sound like a bungled start-up company, but who's to say a doctor won't lead you astray. I smell fish all over.

[Via]