Valley wrestling tournament back on after skin infection scare

PHOENIX - With the Arizona Interscholastic Association set to resume sectional wrestling tournaments this weekend, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health fully supports the decision to move forward.

The department provided an update on their investigation into the skin infection that spread to wrestlers in the county after a late January wrestling event.

"Anywhere from ringworms to infections caused by staph or street bacteria."

These are the things that every doctor's office would see," said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

The Department has provided the AIA with a list of recommendations for the upcoming tournaments,

Including preventing wrestlers from with visible skin lesions.

"Additionally, they're taking extra precaution to sterilize the mats in between matches and have hand hygiene or alcohol-based hand rub available for the wrestlers to clean their hands," said Sunenshine.

While this investigation has been focused on wrestling, she says the same rules can be applied to all high school athletes.

"This actually first came to light with professional football players. And we actually learned that sharing towels, sharing personal items, and having turf burns puts athletes at increased risk of certain infections," said Sunenshine.

So far, the department says more than five schools have contacted them about infections with their wrestlers.

To see a schedule of events, you can visit the AIA website.

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