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Michael Hackett
06-23-2008, 02:38 PM
There is a new critter out there, rearing its ugly head. A type of herpes, PHG (Primary Herpes Gladatorum) has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control, along with a similar one called Herpes Rugbiaforum. HG is being experienced by wrestlers and the HR virus is being found in rugby players. In general, the virus is contracted by contacting broken skin with the mat or equipment.

Those who suspect they may have been affected should see a physician and perhaps begin therapy.

It is suggested that mat surfaces be cleaned with a bleach solution of 1/4 cup of bleach to one gallon of water to clean mats and headgear, etc.

Not to cause an alarm, but this is something that we should all be aware of and take steps to avoid in our training areas. For more information, please contact the NCAA, the CDC, or check medscape.com. I hope this helps keep everyone safe.

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2008, 01:54 PM
This is very timely...one of the UFC competitors just got kicked off the show this season because the poor guy had the wrestlers variety. Important things to be aware of. No one wants to train with someone who is contagious...


06-24-2008, 02:50 PM
Thanks for the warning. A search of the CDC website turns up the following report in the Mortalitly Morbidity Weekly Report (MMWR) dated February 09, 1990 [39(5);69-71] (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00001552.htm)
Epidemiologic Notes and Reports Herpes Gladiatorum at a High School Wrestling Camp -- Minnesota

In July 1989, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) investigated an outbreak of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) dermatitis (herpes gladiatorum) in participants at a Minnesota wrestling camp. The camp was held July 2 through July 28 and attended by 175 male high school wrestlers from throughout the United States. The participants were divided into three wrestling groups according to weight (group 1, lightest; group 3, heaviest). During most practice sessions, wrestlers had contact only with others in the same group. The outbreak was detected during the final week of camp, and wrestling contact was subsequently discontinued for the final 2 days.
...Editorial Note

Editorial Note: Herpes gladiatorum (cutaneous infection with HSV in wrestlers and rugby players) was first described in the mid-1960s (1-3). In 1988, an outbreak of herpes gladiatorum was reported among three Wisconsin high school wrestling teams (4). In a national survey of 1477 trainers of athletes, approximately 3% of high school wrestlers were reported to have developed HSV skin infections during the 1984-85 season (5). Lesions occur most often on the head and neck. Primary infection may cause constitutional symptoms with fever, malaise, weight loss, and regional lymphadenopathy. Ocular involvement includes keratitis, conjunctivitis, and blepharitis.

Transmission occurs primarily through skin-to-skin contact. Autoinoculation may lead to involvement of multiple sites. Previous infection with HSV-1 may reduce the risk of acquiring herpes gladiatorum (5). However, the prevalence of antibody to HSV-1 is low among white adolescents (6), and many adolescents are susceptible when they enter competitive wrestling. Control methods should include education of athletes and trainers regarding herpes gladiatorum, routine skin examinations before wrestling contact, and exclusion of wrestlers with suspicious skin lesions. The outbreak in the Minnesota camp might have been prevented if athletes with such lesions had been promptly excluded from contact competition.

Not exactly a new critter, but still one that we need to be aware of. Stay healthy!

Ron Tisdale
06-24-2008, 03:47 PM
I felt so badly for the UFC guy. He was pretty good, if I remember correctly. But the show had no choice but to boot him. They couldn't risk further contamination. I hope the guy can find a way to clear it up long term...but I hear even stress can make it re-occur.


06-24-2008, 04:22 PM
From the British Medical Journal (BMJ) online:
Herpes gladiatorum ("scrumpox")

This condition caused by the herpes simplex virus is one of the most contagious of all infections, and outbreaks in sports clubs are common. Scrumpox is traditionally associated with rugby football; the presence of skin lesions combined with the abrasive effects of facial stubble while scrumming facilitate transmission of infection. Other causal combat sports include judo and wrestling. Infection may also be spread readily by sharing towels or equipment.

Treatment requires the use of acyclovir, a specific antiviral available as a cream or tablets. Prevention depends on maintaining high standards of personal hygiene and excluding infected players until successfully treated.

Enrique Antonio Reyes
06-25-2008, 02:09 AM
Since were at it don't forget the usual staph infection that goes around...plus the minor fungal infections as well.