Last week I mentioned at the end of my blog post, the overly common issue of skin infections and likeliness of acquiring MRSA due to the dirty wrestling mats. Needless to say, that sparked a bit of intrigue. Once again, to serve the HERO Wrestling family, I’ve decided to do a little investigating.
The first question is, is MRSA a big concern in wrestling? According to Matt Doyle, the Director of the Athletic Training Outreach Program for University of Iowa Sports Medicine, the answer is yes. In an interview with WIN Magazine, Mr. Doyle explains that skin infections are clearly a major concern in youth wrestling.
Although MRSA is thought to be only contracted in hospital settings, the odds of contracting the disease in a wrestling setting are higher than expected. According to a study in the Journal of School Nursing, there’s a new strain of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA) that affects healthy people who have never been in the hospital, and athletes (such as your little wrestlers) are actually most susceptible to contracting them.
So, the next question is, where can a wrestler contract MRSA? A team of public health researchers in Ohio actually went out and collected samples from various mats at athletic training facilities and wrestling facilities all over. They found that 100% of the sites tested positive for the presence of MRSA. Yikes! No one is safe out there!
And yet another question comes about. Can MRSA be contracted solely from dirty mats? Well, I certainly hope so…! But, unfortunately, that’s not the case. According to a research study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, wrestlers can also transmit MRSA among themselves simply through physical contact with each other.
So, what can we do?
Let’s venture back to Mr. Doyle. He states that wrestling cannot ever be 100% free of skin infections and no product can completely eliminate skin infections from wrestling. But, Mr. Doyle and the team of medical experts agree that everyone can play a role in preventing skin infections and decreasing the likeliness of contracting diseases such as MRSA. Essentially, education can indeed help prevent the spread of community-associated MRSA. Aside from knowledge alone, the use of antibacterial products to keep facilities and wrestling mats safe is also important. Finally, wrestlers, parents, coaches, and community health professionals can all pitch in to help limit the transmission of CA-MRSA by facilitating prevention strategies! Let’s keep the mats clean and our kids safe!
Drews, T. D., Temte, J. L., & Fox, B. C. (2006). Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus: review of an emerging public health concern. WMJ : Official Publication of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin, 105(1), 52–7. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16676492
Lindenmayer, J. M., Schoenfeld, S., O’Grady, R., & Carney, J. K. (1998). Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in a high school wrestling team and the surrounding community. Archives of Internal Medicine, 158(8), 895–9. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9570176