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Skin Infection Delays Start of HS Football Season

Jason Scott

A bacterial infection among members of a high school football team in Arizona is delaying the start of the season.

As a safety precaution, Phoenix Alhambra and Phoenix North High Schools are postponing their season-opening game due to an outbreak of Impetigo at Phoenix Alhambra according to TV station KPNX.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Impetigo is a highly common, highly contagious skin infection caused by bacteria. The infection can cause red sores to appear on the skin. Close contact, such as what one would engage in playing football, can spread the infection, which contributed to the decision to postpone the game. The Maricopa County Department of Public Health reportedly recommended that affected individuals sit out until they’ve recovered.

“Most of the lesions have been on the forearms and on the elbows which is probably of a higher incidence of contact for those areas so that’s where the spread has been,” Phoenix Union athletics director Zack Munoz told KPNX.

The school is taking steps to disinfect common areas and equipment, according to Munoz.

"I hired a company that's been used across the state through our interscholastic association to go in and also do a more long-term, like spraying of the locker room, the flooring, the walls, the pads," he said. 

Originally scheduled for Friday, the game between Alhambra and North will now take place Oct. 13, during a previously scheduled bye week. 

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