Teen Claims Viral Disease Result Of Wrestling Match - KMSP-TV

Teen Claims Viral Disease Result Of Wrestling Match

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WYANDOTTE, Mich. – There's concern about a possible outbreak tied to high school athletics.

One Michigan student is resting with a medical condition he blames on a contact sport.

FOX's Randy Wimbley explains that a lot of people don't know that you can contract a form of herpes simply by skin-to-skin contact, and that's actually pretty easy to do in wrestling if the right precautions are not taken.

A Wyandotte woman says that's what happened at Roosevelt High School, and her son is paying dearly for it.

"It's still a little bit there. It's trying to go away from the medications," said 14-year-old John Martinez, who says it started with a bad headache followed by a rash and then a two-day stay at Children's Hospital.

The diagnosis? Herpes simplex.

"When the doctors finally came in, they asked me about my sports and about wrestling and if any kids had wounds or anything," John said.

"They said they tested the four boys Johnny wrestled that day. Two of them had shingles on their forehead, so they taped their foreheads," said John's mother, Nancy Martinez.

But she believes they too have herpes and their lesions were not taped.

"It was on their foreheads. It was like little things, nothing major, so I thought maybe it wouldn't be a problem," John said.

Nancy claims she was never warned that her son could be exposed to such a dangerous virus.

"Every year they send us a paper about what these boys can catch. They never mentioned this herpes simplex disease, and it affects these boys for the rest of their lives."

At 6-feet-1-inch tall and 229 pounds, John hoped wrestling or football would be his ticket to a free college education. But he's not banking on it now that he has contracted herpes.

"Well, I wanted to end up getting a scholarship for football or wrestling so I can get to college and have that paid off for. But now since I have the disease, I can't get a scholarship now," he said.

Wyandotte Schools Superintendent Dr. Catherine Cost says the district is deeply concerned about the three students who are infected and is working with the athletic director, coaches and trainers to keep other students from getting infected as well.

The superintendent says she's going to look into whether or not kids were allowed to wrestle even though they showed signs of being infected with herpes.

A lot of the students going out for and those already on the wrestling team also play on the football team, and there's a meeting for those players and their parents on Saturday. And Wimbley reported you can bet they'll be talking about this issue.

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