Can Hepatitis B Be Transmitted on the Football Field?

Sept. 21, 2000 — Broken bones and concussions aren’t the only risks football players confront on the field, a unused think about has found. Hepatitis B, a blood-borne virus that assaults the liver and can final a lifetime, can be spread among group sports players through contact with other players’ wounds during preparing, concurring to a Japanese think about of a football team.

The ponder, which shows up within the Chronicles of Inner Medicine, recognized 11 cases of hepatitis B among the Okayama University’s football group amid a 19-month period. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can cause deep rooted disease, scarring of the liver, liver cancer, liver disappointment, and potentially passing. It is known to be transmitted through blood transfusions, intravenous drug utilize, and sex with an HBV-infected partner, and the new study suggests that transmission is additionally possible in contact sports.

Each year within the U.S., more than 200,000 individuals of all ages get hepatitis B, and close to 5,000 die as a result of HBV, concurring to statistics from the CDC. But a hepatitis B immunization to avoid infection is accessible for all age groups.

The researchers, driven by Kazuo Tobe, MD, of the Health and Therapeutic Center at Okayama University, say the virus was apparently transmitted by a single player who was an HBV carrier.

„Our think about recommends that … transmission of HBV may occur indeed among members of a sports group, likely through contact between players with uncovered bleeding wounds,” conclude the study’s creators

One master tells WebMD he is shocked this sort of HBV transmission — called horizontal transmission — doesn’t happen more often in team sports.

„Hepatitis B could be a virus that, not at all like the Helps virus, is very stable. So if you’ve got blood contaminated with hepatitis B and do not clean it up, [the virus] can survive up to eight hours, indeed dried up on a work area, a chair, or a boxing ring,” says Albert B. Knapp, MD, an collaborator professor of pharmaceutical and gastroenterology at New York College Medical School and an attending doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital.

„It’s amazing that there are not more cases of level transmission of hepatitis B virus. It could be a poorly examined method of hepatitis B infection transmission,” he tells WebMD.

As for avoidance, Knapp recommends that any blood should be cleaned up instantly with alcohol or water. Moreover, „everyone in any contact don ought to be vaccinated for hepatitis B.”

„Numerous times people do not know that they have been contaminated,” he says, adding that it takes three months after contamination for side effects to begin showing up.

But Lewis G. Maharam, MD, a sports medicine pro who is the president of the Modern York chapter of the American College of Sports Pharmaceutical, questions whether the infection can actually be transmitted the way the study says.

„I see sports competitors each day, and in the event that they were interviewed at a university wellbeing center and asked around high-risk behaviors [for HBV] such as intravenous drug utilize or wantonness, they would say no at the university because they fear that their reactions might have repercussions on the group or among companions,” says Maharam, who is also the restorative chief for the New York City Marathon.

Still, he says, full safety measures should be taken when blood is display, both on and off the field.

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