FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --A bay area high school athlete claims he got herpes while competing in a wrestling match last month. The teen is now asking the state wrestling championships be canceled. Several Central Valley wrestlers have advanced to the big event in Bakersfield.
Blake Flovin, a bay area wrestler, is missing out on one of the biggest moments of his high school career. "Right now, I'm not going to wrestle again."
Flovin contracted Herpes Gladiatorum-- an infection similar to a cold sore not an STD. It is stopping him from participating in the CIF competition in Bakersfield this weekend. A competition many Central Valley wrestlers are listed to compete in. But Flovin is worried those going might get what he got since many of the wrestlers he wrestled with in recent weeks are scheduled to be there. "They need to be stopped from wrestling, or the state needs to be postponed."
Action News reached out to Clovis Unified School District and the Fresno Unified School District to see if there was any concern for its students who are competing. The spokesperson for Clovis Unified sent us a statement saying," If there is any possibility that the student has a contagious skin illness, they will not be allowed to continue check-in for the meet."
Dr. Kathleen Behr, a Fresno dermatologist, said she has treated a number of patients in the area for this particular type of herpes Flovin has. She is not saying whether wrestlers should or should not compete but she is saying there is a risk. "It's most contagious when there's skin-to-skin contact when there's active blisters on the skin. Which is a lot when you're wrestling."
The CIF said after reviewing this situation, it is not canceling this weekend's competition at the Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield. Adding that its "physicians and certified athletic trainers are trained to detect symptoms and make a determination as to the nature of the condition and whether the student-athlete may compete, without posing a risk to himself of any other competitor."
Now close to 600 hundred high school students are competing in this state wrestling championships tournament and Dr. Behr said any wrestler who has an active breakout of Herpes Gladiatorum should not wrestle with it.
She also suggests any wrestler who has a history of it and not any visible lesions should see their physician to discuss options since the tournament exposes them to so many people.