- CHICAGO (Reuters) - The American
Academy of Pediatrics told teachers and coaches on Monday they and students
should be aware of the dangers of hepatitis from exposure to blood during
and after sporting events.
- The group, which issued a similar warning earlier on
exposure in the same setting to the virus which causes AIDS, issued a revised
policy statement recommending added precautions for hepatitis B and C.
- It said anyone who might be exposed to athletes' blood
should receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
- Any athlete who starts bleeding during an event should
be removed from competition as soon as possible and athletes should be
taught not to share personal items such as razors, toothbrushes and nail
clippers, it added.
- The academy also said that athletic equipment and playing
areas contaminated by blood should be cleaned with a bleach solution or
- The policy statement, published in the December issue
of the academy's journal ``Pediatrics,'' said that while transmission of
hepatitis B infection in sports is rare, at least two cases have been reported.
- One involved a high school-aged sumo wrestler who gave
the infection to other members of his team, and another involved a group
of Swedish athletes who were on an orienteering outing and used water contaminated
with blood to clean wounds caused by branches and thorns.
- It said less is known about how hepatitis C is spread
but it is considered far easier to spread through contaminated blood than
the AIDS virus is.