Virtual reality (VR) and herpes are words that are very much unrelated with each other. But after someone leaked a supposedly private conversation between game studio and developers about a spread of a certain disease due to wearing VR headsets in public demonstrations, the unthinkable link between virtual reality and herpes manifests itself into reality.
'Ocular Herpes' sounds like a hoax illness that came from the bowels of the internet and gossip, but it is indeed an actual sickness. Youtube user Drift0r sheds light to the gruesome disease by posting the actual conversation of the game studio and developers through Twitter with a caption saying: "EYE HERPES IS SPREADING VIA VR HEADSETS! You know those big events where people try VR for the first time? Well this dev got herpes from it!"
The names of the developers are censored and just the conversation itself is viewable. The talk between the developers was initiated by a person labeled as 'Dev 2' due to censorship.
According to The Daily Dot, ocular herpes developed from the herpes simplex virus, which causes inflammation and general discomfort. Unlike regular herpes, it spreads around the eye. It can be passed via contact with an infected person; with people sharing the same VR headset over and over, a person is most likely to get infected by the disease.
PC Gamer posted a list of symptoms in their article covering Ocular Herpes. Signs and symptoms of Ocular Herpes include: swelling around the eye, tearing, recurrent eye infections, irritation, foreign body sensation, eye redness, eyesores, watery eye discharge and sensitivity to light.
Another proof of the chilling ocular herpes is a statistic result from the National Eye Institute. They reported that almost 400,000 Americans have had contracted some form of ocular herpes; This may have been from several years ago when VR was still a futuristic thing unavailable to consumers. According to PC Gamer.
Be careful when using public VR headsets. Always make sure to clean them with an alcohol wipe to prevent contracting a disease.