Blood, sweat and tears: a phrase that has been coined by athletic teams across the country. It refers to the sacrifice and commitment required of successful athletes; however, new re- search suggests the phrase references certain dangers of athletics.
In nearly all sports, athletes regularly come in contact with each other, and many share equipment including helmets, bats, water bottles, and showers.
The American Academy of Pediatrics released a study on Sept. 21 titled “Infectious Diseases Associated With Organized Sports and Outbreak Control,” which analyzes the effect—and potential prevention—of infectious diseases in athletics.
Participating in organized sports is beneficial but also potentially exposes athletes to infectious diseases, the authors wrote. “Major risk factors for infection include skin-to-skin contact with athletes who have active skin infections, environmental exposures and physical trauma, and sharing of equipment and contact with contaminated fomites.”
The authors said that the risk of disease could be greatly diminished by implementing policies and leadership decisions advocating for proper hygiene and self-recognition.