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April 1990

Herpes Gladiatorum at a High School Wrestling Camp-Minnesota

Arch Dermatol. 1990;126(4):439. doi:10.1001/archderm.1990.01670280021002

In July 1989, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) investigated an outbreak of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) dermatitis (herpes gladiatorum) in participants at a Minnesota wrestling camp. The camp was held July 2 through July 28 and attended by 175 male high school wrestlers from throughout the United States. The participants were divided into three wrestling groups according to weight (group 1, lightest; group 3, heaviest). During most practice sessions, wrestlers had contact only with others in the same group. The outbreak was detected during the final week of camp, and wrestling contact was subsequently discontinued for the final two days.

A case was defined as isolation of HSV-1 from involved skin or eye or the presence of cutaneous vesicles. To identify cases, a clinic was held at the camp to obtain viral cultures and examine skin lesions. Additional clinical data were obtained from review of emergency department

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