Now that the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are here, virtual reality is finally starting to spread. Let's cross our fingers that ocular herpes doesn't follow suit. We're not pulling that worry out of thin air—Twitter user @Drfit0r posted a screenshot of VR developers having a conversation with a game studio about ocular herpes "going around VR headsets" at events where people demo them.
Public events where people share gadgets and gizmos are breeding grounds for germs, which is one reason why you often see people carrying around little bottles of hand sanitizer. But just as germs can spread from game controllers, smartphones, and other handheld items, they can also hitch a ride on VR headsts and land smack dab on your face.
The following conversation between developers and a game studio brings up the need to "clean headsets regularly" to prevent the spread of ocular herpes, a common and recurrent viral infection caused by the type 1 herpes simplex virus.
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! pic.twitter.com/ngNQK5QiFB— Drift0r (@Drift0r) October 25, 2016
The good news here is that this doesn't appear to be a widespread thing. At present, all we have is a single conversation. However, it is something to keep in mind if you're thinking about trying on a VR headset at a public demo. If you notice the booth keepers aren't regularly cleaning the headset, you might want to politely educate them on the risks and/or seek out a manager.