20 Alhambra High football players diagnosed with skin infection; first game postponed

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

The first football game of the season for two Phoenix high schools has been postponed in an effort to stop the spread of a highly contagious skin infection.

As many as 20 players on the Alhambra High School football team have been diagnosed with impetigo, the Phoenix Union High School District announced Wednesday.

Impetigo is a common skin infection that can be cured with antibiotics, usually in about a week, but the rashes and blisters are highly contagious. Rashes have been showing up on players' elbows and forearms, said Craig Pletenik, a spokesman for Phoenix Union High School District.

Alhambra was scheduled to play North High School in the season opener. The game has been rescheduled for Oct. 13.

“We have made this decision in the best interest of our student-athletes and to prevent any further threat of exposure to the Alhambra, and North student bodies,” said District Athletic Director Dr. Zachary Muñoz.

All players on Alhambra's football team are now being checked daily for symptoms by athletic trainers and the school nurse.

The football team practiced after school Wednesday, but infected players sat out. Players with the infection will not be allowed to participate in sports until they recover, Pletenik said.

The rash started appearing last week. Last weekend, school staff began disinfecting and sanitizing the locker room, weight room, classrooms and common areas that may have been exposed to the bacteria, Pletenik said.

Impetigo is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact but it can also be spread when individuals share towels, said Dr. Karem Colindres of Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.

Alhambra is slated to host Carl Hayden next week.

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Derek StaahlDerek Staahl is an Emmy Award-winning reporter and fill-in anchor who loves covering stories that matter most to Arizona families.

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Derek Staahl

This once-uncompromising "California guy" got his first taste of Arizona in 2015 while covering spring training baseball for his former station. The trip spanned just three days, but Derek quickly decided Phoenix should be his next address. He joined CBS 5 and 3TV four months later, in August 2015. Before packing his bags for the Valley of the Sun, Derek spent nearly four years at XETV in San Diego, where he was promoted to Weekend Anchor and Investigative Reporter. Derek chaired the Saturday and Sunday 10 p.m. newscasts, which regularly earned the station's highest ratings for a news program each week. Derek’s investigative reporting efforts into the Mayor Bob Filner scandal in 2013 sparked a "governance crisis" for the city of San Diego and was profiled by the region’s top newspaper. Derek broke into the news business at WKOW-TV in Madison, WI. He wrote, shot, edited, and presented stories during the week, and produced newscasts on the weekends. By the end of his stint, he was promoted to part-time anchor on WKOW’s sister station, WMSN. Derek was born in Los Angeles and was named the “Undergraduate Broadcast Journalism Student of the Year” in his graduating class at USC. He also played quads in the school’s famous drumline. When not reporting the news, Derek enjoys playing drumset, sand volleyball, and baseball.

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