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Chapter 12 : Sports: the Infectious Hazards
Sporting events have been a favorite pastime for countless generations. We participate in sports for recreation, competition, and good health ( Fig. 1 ). The hazards usually associated with sports are traumatic: strains, sprains, fractures, and concussion. People are generally unaware of infectious complications until they are highlighted by the media, such as when several players in the National Football League (NFL) developed skin infections involving antibiotic-resistant bacteria, when professional basketball star Magic Johnson was diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and the recent outbreak of mumps in the National Hockey League. Alas, recreational athletes and even spectators are not exempt from infectious hazards either. An outbreak of campylobacteriosis among participants of a long-distance obstacle adventure course has shown that even weekend warriors may be affected by sports-related infections. This chapter highlights the mechanisms by which infectious agents may be spread during sports, the treatment options available, and preventive strategies.