Mar 5, 2016
Infected Wrestler Tries to Stop State Tourney

After contracting “mat herpes,” a high school wrestler and his family requested a delay in the state wrestling championships to prevent other infections from being contracted. Despite the family’s concern, the California interscholastic officials decided that the championships would go on.

According to an article from the San Jose Mercury News, Archbishop Mitty High School (San Jose, Calif.) senior Blake Flovin believes he contracted “herpes gladiatorum” while competing at the Central Coast Section championships in Feburary. While at the competition, Flovin noticed the boys’ bathroom next to the wrestling floor was wet and dirty.

“The kids were walking in there with their wrestling shoes, then straight out of the bathroom and onto the mats. Kids’ faces were shoved into the mats where those feet were,” Flovin told the San Jose Mercury News. “It’s disgusting. Kids were joking that if you walk in there, you’re probably going to get pink eye.”

Several days later, Flovin broke out with what he initially thought was acne. Upon seeing a doctor, he was initially diagnosed with a staph infection. When the lesions persisted, a second opinion diagnosed it as “mat herpes.”

Although symptoms might not show immediately, wrestlers could potentially spread herpes gladiatorum to others during the eight-day incubation period even if they do not have skin lesions during that time. Flovin participated in a practice session on Feb. 25 before any symptoms began, which means some of those he wrestled with could have been contagious during the state championships. 

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