Statement from the University Physician

Skin infections may be transmitted by direct skin contact with surfaces contaminated by another person who carries bacteria (such as Staphylococcus aureus or "staph"), fungal organisms (such as those that cause "ringworm") or viruses (such as Herpes simplex) on their skin.  People may carry these organisms without having symptoms or illness and may inadvertently contaminate the environment, where others may contact the organisms, become infected and develop illness symptoms.  Effective infection control measures to prevent the spread of such infections include: 1) personal hygiene practices (frequent hand washing or sanitization, showering before and after contact with shared sports equipment, no sharing of towels), 2) regular environmental cleaning and disinfection of potential skin contact surfaces, and 3) wearing of appropriate clothing during workouts to avoid direct skin contact with surfaces that may become or be contaminated with infectious organisms.  Such measures are recommended for all athletic facilities by the NCAA and by the CDC.

- Jane Horton, M.D., University Physician

Sources