Course

Infectious diseases

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16 Lessons

Playing football, and physical activity in general, has an effect on a player’s immune status. This effect is directly related to the amount and intensity of training. This must be considered when developing a team’s training programme. Too much load may compromise immunity and lead to illness.

There are a variety of infectious diseases which commonly occur in a football setting. The vast majority of these a relatively minor and lead to minimal morbidity. The most common examples are fungal and viral skin infections and upper respiratory tract infections. These often do not require any specific treatment. It is also important to recognise that more significant conditions can also occur in football players. Frequent travel and risk-taking behaviours are often common in this group and can increase the risk of illness.

As with other the other topics discussed in this diploma course, prevention is a very important consideration. Simple strategies are highly effective at reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Hand washing is an important strategy (which is frequently forgotten). Managing bleeding wounds, and blood in general, having a policy for common infections and planning appropriately for travel can all reduce the risk of spread.

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Learning outcomes

By the end of this topic you should:

  • have an understanding of the effects of football, and physical activity in general, on a player’s immune status;
  • understand how common infectious diseases may be prevented;
  • be able to diagnose and manage common infectious conditions seen in football players;
  • understand the indications for referral for more significant conditions including malaria, blood-borne diseases and sexually transmitted infections;
  • be able to create a protocol for the management of blood-soiled equipment at your team or club;
  • understand the need to consider infectious disease outbreaks as part of the planning for a football tournament.

Tasks

  • Review the media content and read the provided text
  • Read the “required reading” articles
  • Complete the case-based assessment task

Suggested reading

Brukner and Khan’s
Clinical Sports Medicine, 4th edition
Chapter 56 (pages 1102-1117)

References

  1. Moreira A, Delgado L, Moreira P, Haahtela T. Does exercise increase the risk of upper respiratory tract infections? Br Med Bull. 2009;90:111-131.
  2. Schwellnus M, Soligard T, Alonso JM, et al. How much is too much? (part 2) international olympic committee consensus statement on load in sport and risk of illness. Br J Sports Med. 2016;50(17):1043-1052.
  3. Antibiotics guide. http://www.bpac.org.nz/Supplement/2013/July/antibiotics-guide.aspx#uti-adult. Updated 2013. Accessed August 25, 2016.
  4. Parsons JT. 2014-15 NCAA sports medicine handbook. 24th ed. Indianapolis, Indiana: NCAA; 2014.
  5. Balogh A. General medical guidelines for WBF boxing contests. http://www.worldboxingfederation.net/articles/general-medical-guidelines.htm. Updated 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
  6. Yar’zever IS, Abubakar U, Toriola AL, Ibokwe NU. Effects of 12 weeks cycle exercise programme on CD4 count and viral load in HIV sero-positive patients in kano, nigeria. Journal of AIDS and HIV research. 2013;5(11):415.
  7. Bereket-Yucel S. Risk of hepatitis B infections in olympic wrestling. Br J Sports Med. 2007;41(5):306-10; discussion 310.
  8. Dvorak J, Junge A, Derman W, Schwellnus M. Injuries and illnesses of football players during the 2010 FIFA world cup. Br J Sports Med. 2011;45(8):626-630.
  9. Primos WA,Jr. Sports and exercise during acute illness: Recommending the right course for patients. Phys Sportsmed. 1996;24(1):44-52.
  10. Putukian M, O’Connor FG, Stricker P, et al. Mononucleosis and athletic participation: An evidence-based subject review. Clin J Sport Med. 2008;18(4):309-315.
  11. Kyle C, ed. A handbook for the interpretation of laboratory tests. 4th ed. Panmure, Auckland: Diagnostic Medlab; 2008.
  12. Hosey RG, Mattacola CG, Kriss V, Armsey T, Quarles JD, Jagger J. Ultrasound assessment of spleen size in collegiate athletes. Br J Sports Med. 2006;40(3):251-4; discussion 251-4.
  13. C.D.C. A guide to taking a sexual history. https://www.cdc.gov/std/treatment/sexualhistory.pdf. Updated 2016. Accessed November 28, 2016.
  14. Qadri F, Svennerholm AM, Faruque AS, Sack RB. Enterotoxigenic escherichia coli in developing countries: Epidemiology, microbiology, clinical features, treatment, and prevention. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2005;18(3):465-483.
  15. Lopez-Gigosos R, Garcia-Fortea P, Reina-Dona E, Plaza-Martin E. Effectiveness in prevention of travellers’ diarrhoea by an oral cholera vaccine WC/rBS. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2007;5(6):380-384.