Can You Contract Herpes from Wrestling?

A man has filed a lawsuit claiming he contracted type 1 herpes and a staph infection during a 2013 high school wrestling competition and The Doctors examine this unique lawsuit.

The alleged incident occurred in 2013 when the plaintiff was 17. The man’s attorney, Lee Davis, joins The Doctors and claims that the coach of the opposing wrestler failed to perform a proper skin check and his client then contracted herpes and staph from his opponent or the wrestling mat that was used. His client claims his first outbreak occurred just days after the 2013 match. Last summer, the lawyer says his client then had another outbreak of sores on his forehead.

The Doctors note that a herpes outbreak on the forehead is rare and ER physician Dr. Travis Stork calls an outbreak on that part of the body “highly unusual.”

Watch: Can You Sue Someone for Giving You Herpes?

The attorney goes to claim that his client believes he knows who he contracted the disease from, but puts the blame on the coaches and referees – who he claims failed to follow the mandatory safety rules.

Attorney Areva Martin feels it will be difficult to prove that the plaintiff in the suit did contract herpes and staph from another wrestler or a wrestling mat, but feels this case could raise awareness about the risks involved with coming in contact with someone who has an outbreak.

Watch: Are Herpes Outbreaks Common for Children?

Dr. Stork warns, “Whenever you participate in a sport, you’re at risk for these things… it’s always going to be an inherent risk in body to body contact sports. It’s not just sex, any time two bodies are commingled, you are at risk for communicable diseases.”

The Doctors’ takeaway from this case is that if you are involved in a skin to skin contact sport and have any type of open sore or skin issue, or see anyone with skin problems, do not participate.