Friday, February 16, 2007

Herpes Gladiatorum in Minnesota ?

Herpes Gladiatorum outbreaks in Minnesota currently totals 42 reported cases from 16 schools.

Herpes Gladiatorum is commonly referred to as "mat herpes" and is having an unusually large level of outbreaks this season in Minnesota - and the surrounding states of Iowa, Wisconsin and North and South Dakota are on watch for symptoms.

Herpes Gladiatorum is caused by the herpes simplex virus - the same herpes virus that causes cold sores, fever blisters and oral herpes. It is spread by close skin contact of judo practitioners, wrestlers, and similar close bare-skin contact sports.

I have mentioned before that cold sores, fever blisters and oral herpes can be spread from the lips to other parts of the body. The virus is not know to actually penetrate the skin, but will quickly take advantage of a break in the skin surface.

Cold sore virus is sub-microscopic - much smaller than a body cell - so it doesn't take much of a break in the skin.

As a former Wisconsin wrestler myself, I can tell you that mat burns (like rug burns) are very common. This, along with sweating, can transfer the virus from one athlete to another very easily. (By the way - I never lost a match in High School wrestling competition).

The initial infection symptom of herpes gladiatorum, as it has appeared in Minnesota recently, is a rash that lasts one to two weeks. Clusters of painful blisters can be present during this initial outbreak, but are usually far more common during herpes gladiatorum reoccurrence - similar to cold sores on the lips.

The herpes simplex virus will embed itself in the nerve fibers in the area of initial infection. This, again, is the virus that creates cold sores, fever blisters, and oral herpes.

You can experience reoccurrence anytime just like a cold sore. And since we know that the herpes virus will live in your body for most if not all of your life, it would be wise to have an effective and proven
cold sore treatment on hand.

Cold sore remedies - if they work for cold sores and shingles - will work equally well with herpes gladiatorum outbreaks.

In high schools, especially here in Minnesota, wrestlers, or similar sport type athletes with a rash will not be allowed to compete until the rash subsides - according to the coaches I've talked to.

Further, any athlete with cold sores, fever blisters or oral herpes should not compete until the cold sore is completely healed - including the red spot often occurring after the skin appears healed. This red spot indicates that there is still active and contagious virus in that area under the surface.

Herpes gladiatorum can lead to serious complications and should not be taken lightly.


Herpes gladiatorum is certainly not limited to Midwest states like Minnesota. It can, and will, show up in any state, any country and anytime.

For effective treatment always use proven cold sore remedies. A topical cold sore treatment will work best but a good vitamin and mineral program will greatly help to actually prevent these skin cold sores.

Read about a cold sore treatment proven to
STOP any Herpes Cold Sore in it's tracks!

Take Care
Denny B.


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