My son is a student at Southwest High School and mentioned that many of the school’s cheerleaders along with other winter sports athletes are coming down with visible skin lesions and are being sent home from school. I am wondering why this has not been reported? He also mentioned that the school’s locker room is very unsanitary and has mold. Is this the reason for many of the school’s recent forfeits and are these skin problems contagious? — Parent, El Centro
Central Union High School District Superintendent Thomas Budde confirmed Wednesday that seven students had been sent home with ringworm, which it is believed they contracted in the Southwest High wrestling room.
The students have all since been cleared to return to school after having their suspected cases of ringworm tested at the Imperial County Public Health Department.
Budde said it is not uncommon for this condition to spread in an environment like the wrestling room, where the athletes are in close contact with one another.
He said the school followed protocol and reported the cases to the health department. After hearing what the school intended to do to remediate the problem, Budde said the health department required no further action.
The wrestling mats and the wrestling room have been disinfected twice so far, once Friday and once again Monday.
Again, Budde hasn’t been made aware of any cheerleaders or any other winter sports participants coming down with the condition.
And the assertion that there is mold in the locker rooms and that they are unsanitary, he assures the public that maintenance cleans and disinfects the locker rooms. He also mentioned that because Central Union High School District does not require students to shower, they rarely do, and that means the locker room is not often a high-moisture environment where mold would breed.
Further, we reported on the boys’ basketball team’s forfeits of its Imperial Valley League matches in Wednesday’s edition of the paper. It had nothing to do with the ringworm outbreak and everything to do with an ineligible student on the squad.
Ringworm is most definitely contagious and is spread through skin-on-skin contact. Not caused by a worm at all, it is a fungus that manifests itself as red raised lesions on the skin. Budde said that some of the students’ infections had become infected and were open wounds.
Most cases of ringworm are treated with over-the-counter creams, and while it can clear up quickly, those infected must be vigilant in treating it as it can come back quickly.
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