Matoaca JV football players pulled from game due to contagious skin infection

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Several Matoaca High School JV football players have been diagnosed with a contagious skin infection called Impetigo, Chesterfield County School officials confirm to CBS 6.

The superficial skin infection has caused impacted students to be pulled from Thursday night’s game against Cosby High as they continue to receive treatment.

Chesterfield County School Spokesperson Shawn Smith says those players have been isolated from their teammates and are now taking antibiotics.

“Impetigo is a very common skin infection that we see, not only in pediatrics but adults. Typically it comes from some loss or break in the integrity of the skin," Dr. Eric Freeman, a pediatrician at Old Dominion Pediatrics, said.

The pediatrician says at least 20 to 30 percent of his patients have some form of impetigo.

Dr. Freeman said those infected with the contagious infection are isolated for 24 hours and treated with topical treatments or ointments.

They usually see resolution from anywhere to a couple days to a week.

"Typically impetigo presents as very red, inflamed, puss-filled sores that you can see on the face, the neck and other parts of the body," he added.

Smith says trainers are monitoring all players before practices or games to remove any athlete who might be suspected of having a skin infection.

In addition, Matoaca has treated their locker rooms and equipment after finding out about the outbreak.

Principals at both schools notified students and parents of the situation ahead of Thursday’s game:

"The Cosby High School principal shared with football parents that there is a situation at Matoaca High School where several of their football players were diagnosed with Impetigo, a skin infection.  (Please note that the Matoaca High School principal shared similar information last night with football parents).  Athletic trainers at Matoaca HS have screened the impacted students and they have been isolated from the team while they are going through the antibiotic protocol with their health care provider," said Shawn Smith. "The locker rooms and equipment have been treated and trainers are monitoring all players before practices or games to remove any athlete who might be suspected of having a skin infection. Both schools are following both VHSL and health support providers directions.  Based on the guidance from our health support providers, the football games will move forward as scheduled."