November 29, 1965

Epidemiology of Herpes Simplex Among Wrestlers

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Dermatology, Hitchcock Clinic, and Dartmouth College Health Service, Hanover, NH.

JAMA. 1965;194(9):998-1000. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090220054014

Herpes simplex among wrestlers is a novel expression of herpetic infection, which, to our knowledge, had not been reported in the English literature prior to 1964.1,2 This report analyzes the epidemiological data of an outbreak at Dartmouth College during the 1964-1965 wrestling season. The incidence in the Northeast was determined from questionnaires completed by physicians at colleges competing in this area.

Materials and Methods 

Local Epidemic.—  The Dartmouth College team consisted of 19 healthy white men engaged in active competition in intercollegiate wrestling. They represented all weight classes; their ages ranged from 18 to 22 years. Specific historical information was recorded as to the presence of the atopic diathesis (personal or immediate-family history of hay fever, asthma, eczema, or migraine) and previously documented herpes infection. All wrestling contacts during the preceding three weeks were recorded. The examination of the skin included a detailed recording of any abrasions or other

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