Friday, October 5, 2007

Don't hug me... I'm really sweaty.

A study of 70 Olympic Turkish wrestlers suggests that human hepatitis virus B (HBV) may be transmissible through sweat!

The findings, which were published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found occult HBV infection in 13% of the 70 wrestlers. The wrestlers were subjected to HBV surface antigen immunoassays in addition to PCR analysis of their blood and sweat. Although none of the wrestlers tested positive for the surface antigen,11% of the individuals sweat tested positive for HBV.

You can read more about the study and its findings here.

No studies have sought to examine the possibility of direct transmission of HBV through sweat exchanged in contact sports. The scientists recommend that wrestlers should be vaccinated at the beginning of their career.

Certainly not conclusive... but it sure makes you think twice about hugging your sweaty friends coming back from the gym!

Lauren Smith

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