High school wrestler diagnosed with highly contagious 'mat herpes'

High School Wrestler Says Mats Gave Him Herpes; Other Athletes Exposed
High School Wrestler Says Mats Gave Him Herpes; Other Athletes Exposed

A San Francisco high school athlete says his wrestling career is over after he contracted a highly contagious form of herpes during a match, NBC Bay Area reports.

The teen is now pleading with state officials to postpone this weekend's championship meet as other athletes may have been exposed to the disease.

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Blake Flovin, 17, believes he contracted herpes gladiatorum, or "mat herpes," during a recent meet. Herpes gladiatorum, one of the most infectious forms of the disease, is spread through skin contact and saliva. Although the disease can be treated, once a person is infected it says in their system for life.

Flovin and his parents wrote to the California Interscholastic Federation asking for the state championships to be postponed until the herpes outbreak is investigated.

"I don't want other kids to get this," Flovin told NBC Bay Area. "It's not worth it to put the wrestlers at risk when this is totally preventable."

Flovin fears that many student athletes wrestle with the disease but attempt to hide their diagnoses.

"I've definitely seen kids with makeup on different sores or whatnot, trying to hide it from the refs when they do the skin check," Flovin said.

Flovin and his family hope that other students and parents will know the risks and that schools will establish better protocols to end the spread of the disease.

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