Many of us are full of excitement in the lead up to attending a music festival but how many of us stop to consider the potential health risks that could be present?
Given that music festivals are packed with people who are likely dehydrated, sweaty and sleep-deprived, it is not surprising many people leave feeling worse than when they arrived.
So, exactly what diseases or viruses are typically found at music festivals? The team at House Call Doctor have put together a list of some moments where diseases have been transmitted at festivals.
Although measles is not overly common at music festivals, there have been instances where the disease has been more prevalent. For instance, prior to the Glastonbury Music Festival in 2016, a statement was released advising attendees to ensure they were vaccinated against measles as there had been an increase in cases.
Common symptoms of measles include:
- Runny nose
- Dry cough
- Sore and/or red eyes
- Red or blue spots inside the mouth
- Red and blotchy rash on the skin.
Quite possibly the most common disease spread at music festivals is influenza. Between fatigue, dehydration and poor hygiene, it is unsurprising that attendees become more susceptible to falling sick. With that being said, many cases from festivals show a common cold is more frequent than influenza.
Common symptoms of influenza include:
- High fever
- Dry cough
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
- Stuffy or runny nose
- Body aches.
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Although it is difficult to have exact numbers of STD outbreaks following a festival,according to a research paper published in a leading European health journal, cases of STD’s are often underestimated or underreported.
Examples of common STDs include:
- Chlamydia – symptoms such as painful urination, vaginal discharge for women, lower abdominal pain, testicular pain for men, pain during sexual intercourse for women and bleeding between menstrual periods.
- Gonorrhoea–symptoms such as anal itching, painful and/or swollen testicles, painful bowel movements, heavy menstrual bleeding and/or bleeding between periods.
- Trichomoniasis – symptoms such as painful urination, pain during sexual intercourse, vaginal irritation and/or itching, irritation and/or itching inside the penis, discharge from the penis and strong vaginal odour.
- HIV – symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, rash, fatigue and swollen lymph glands.
Another common disease spread at music festivals is norovirus, otherwise known as acute gastroenteritis. Simply, norovirus is a group of viruses which tend to cause symptoms including vomiting and diarrhoea. It is easily spread from person to person and is therefore quite common if some attendees at a festival have the disease before entering.
Common symptoms of norovirus include:
- Abdominal pains and/or cramps
- Muscle pain