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High school wrestlers grapple with a pervasive opponent: herpes

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A bad herpes outbreak has caught up with a handful of high school wrestling teams and could keep some aspiring competitors out of the state tournament this March.

Diagnosed cases of herpes have already caused several Minnesota teams to pull out of section tournaments, making them ineligible to qualify for the state tournament, according to the Star Tribune. Individual athletes might still be able to compete.

Cambridge-Isanti High School is one of the schools that pulled out, says athletic director Mark Solberg. Solberg says this the first time Cambridge-Isanti has seen an outbreak like this, and morosely laments the timing. "Hopefully something like this will not happen again."

Solberg says he expects his wrestlers will be back on the mat next weekend.

Here's a full prepared statement from Solberg:

Some of our wrestlers started receiving treatment for herpes gladiatorum earlier this week. Herpes gladiatorum is in the herpes type 1 category, and is the same virus that causes cold sores. After consulting with local physicians, our wrestling coaching staff and administration thought it was the right and proper decision to pull our team from the section team tournament. While this action is extremely disappointing for our wrestlers, their families, our coaching staff, and our school, we did not want to expose our opponents to any viral skin condition. We are receiving excellent care and treatment from local physicians, and are following the Minnesota State High School League procedures concerning skin care. We intend to wrestle at the individual section tournament next week