For this fan, the memory of attending the Falls music festival in Australia will stay with her for life — sadly.
Taneesha Crowe, 23, warned her TikTok followers about the dangers of concerts after she contracted herpes on her forehead at the Melbourne event, according to a report.
“So five years ago I finished school and went to the Falls, and when I came home I was so sick,” Crowe shared on the social media app in a recent post, which was deleted shortly after her story went viral.
Crowe, who was 18 at the time of the infection, developed a “hugely painful scab” – which soon left her unable to eat or drink, resulting in her being hospitalized for five days.
“I couldn’t keep any food down, I couldn’t keep any water down. I couldn’t sleep because I had a cold sweat,” he said.
Doctors initially thought the mark on her head was a simple sunburn – until her condition worsened, with a fever and a developing rash that eventually turned black, looking like scabies.
“I remember going to the pharmacist and she said, ‘Oh my God, are you okay?’ Did you fall?’ I was so embarrassed,” she continued, according to a report.
Determined to get rid of the growing scabies, she was tested for staph infection and herpes zoster, both of which came back negative.
A follow-up with Crowe’s doctors prompted them to rush her to a hospital after seeing how drastically the rash had worsened.
After five days of testing, Crowe was diagnosed with herpes, which is caused by the herpes simplex virus.
“It was basically a huge gash on my face,” Crowe said.
There are two types of HSV: HSV1, oral herpes, and HSV2, genital herpes.
Type 1 is usually spread through oral contact and most commonly occurs in and around the mouth, often called cold sores. Type 2 is usually sexually transmitted, causing genital and anal warts – although HSV1 can also cause warts down there.
The Melbourne woman still doesn’t know how she contracted the disease. Her doctors speculated that she might have brushed someone with an infected wound in the crowd.
Crowe’s biggest worry after her diagnosis was whether she would be left with a huge scar. “It took a long time [to heal]but there are no really noticeable scars left,” he said.
Currently, there is no cure for herpes. However, there are ways to treat the virus and suppress outbreaks, both with oral and topical treatments.
It’s estimated that about 50% to 80% of people in the U.S. carry the oral herpes virus, although it may never rear its ugly head: Many people with herpes have no symptoms and don’t know they have it unless they have a flare-up. It is not yet clear why herpes occurs symptomatically in some and not others, although researchers speculate that it stems from a malfunctioning of the immune system.
HSV2 is somewhat less common and is found in about 12% of the sexually active adult population. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention believes that many more may develop genital warts from HSV1 as a result of oral sex.
This may very well have been Crowe’s initiation into the massive, worldwide herpes club—as the initial infection and outbreak (known as primary herpes) likely caused Crowe’s flu-like symptoms, including body aches, fever, and headache, along with the rash.