Proper hygiene is crucial for athletes, especially in contact sports. Bacterial infection and viruses spread quickly and they can cause serious problems not only for an individual but an entire team.
This is what a high school wrestler from California is dealing with prior to a huge competition. On top of his concern, he fears he’ll spread the disease to his fellow teammates and other wrestlers as well.
After competing in a tournament at Independence High School in San Jose, Blake Flovin has been diagnosed with herpes gladiatorum. According to his doctors, the high-school senior at Archbishop Mitty High School contracted the disease via saliva and direct skin contact.
In the photo below, an outbreak of extremely painful lesions sprung up around Blake’s face.
Prior to another state meeting, the 17-year-old reacted in an interview, “Either they need to be stopped from wrestling or the state tournament needs to be postponed.” Blake worries for other athletes as he added, “Just trying to prevent this disease from getting to other people.”
The contagious virus placed Blake’s young wrestling career in jeopardy. Gladiatorum is a lifelong type of herpes. It’s treatable but very contagious. Although it’s fairly common to wrestlers, he has to postpone competing in the state meetings.
Rena Flovin, Blake’s mom, said, “Kids going to the state tournament, if it goes on, they should know about the risks of this and what they could be exposed to.”
In light of the issue, the California Interscholastic Federation released this statement: “We are confident that our practices, along with an exhaustive medical review of this particular situation, ensure that there is no justification for concern about the spread of a contagious disease at the event.”
Meanwhile, Blake wants to get the word across about the ongoing health issue. He’s received tons of support from the high school wrestling community. “The most important thing here is kid’s health and that’s my main message,” he said.
“I’ve gotten a lot of supportive comments — 100%,” he added.