Wrestler with herpes virus urges delay of state meet
Either they need to be stopped from wrestling or the state tournament needs to be postponed.
A California student-athlete says his wrestling career is over after he contracted a highly contagious form of herpes during a match.
A doctor first diagnosed it as staph infection, but after Googling his persistent symptoms, Blake was certain he had herpes gladiatorum.
No new cases have been reported, although some wrestlers who competed against Blake have gone to the doctor to check on skin issues they noticed. He believes he got the skin infection from another wrestler or a wrestling mat.
Officials with the California Interscholastic Federation said high schools are required to follow national safety standards. While athletes are checked before tournaments for active infection, the family said that some use makeup or bandages to cover lesions.
The event will be held March 4 through the 5, and 561 student-athletes from 276 California high schools are expected to attend.
Flovin, a student at Archbishop Mitty High School, came into close contact with five other wrestlers.
One wrestler in particular, from Fremont, texted him: "Hey Blake".
A few days after the February 19-20 Central Coast Section championships, the teen- a top wrestler in the 220-pound division- said his glands felt swollen and he broke out in what seemed to be acne on his face.
Wrestlers and coaches from all over the state say they are not concerned because they follow certain protocols before and after the match, including wiping their bodies down with antifungal creams and showering within an hour of a match. "Kids" faces were shoved into the mats where those feet were, ' Blake said. "It's disgusting. Kids were joking that if you walk in there, you're probably going to get pink eye".
This Friday's tournament would be on the edge of the virus's eight-day incubation period, which is needed before wrestlers can return to the mat. That safety measure was not in place at Independence High, he said. Known as "mat herpes", it can spread through red skin lesions. "I'd say try and put that above everything else".
The virus stays with wrestlers their entire lives.
'It's mainly scary and it's pretty embarrassing to have it, ' he told the Mercury News.