After an eight-day suspension that was the first of its kind in Minnesota, wrestling has resumed across the state and teams are scrambling to make up for lost time.
Minnesota State High School League officials halted all wrestling contact, including meets and in practices, on January 30 because of an outbreak of a mild herpes virus called herpes gladiatorium.
The sport was suspended after ten teams reported 24 cases of the virus, Activity Director Mark Winter told the District 861 school board.
Because the virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact, officials hoped that putting a stop to that contact would help contain the outbreak and prevent disqualifications at the state meet at the end of February.
The decision put a stop not only to meets but to practices that involved physical contact.
Players across the league had to perform daily checks for lesions, which look much like the blisters found in a traditional cold sore. Winter did not indicate if Winona players were infected, but he did note that during the suspension another 16 wrestlers at six schools showed signs of infection.
Winter said wrestlers resumed competition February 8, after officials felt they had sufficiently controlled the outbreak, and wrestlers have been working hard to make up the meets that they missed.
Although individuals can be sidelined by skin infections, it is the first time a sport has been shut down completely, Winter said.