Ocean Township (Oakhurst, N.J.)
will forfeit its football game on Saturday against Neptune (N.J.)
following an impetigo outbreak among a small group of Ocean team members, according to Ocean School District Superintendent of Schools John Lysko. The game was scheduled to be played at 1 p.m. at Ocean Township.
In a telephone interview today, Lysko said the cancellation was a precautionary one, not only to protect both teams against the further spread of impetigo but to also protect the physical safety of the Ocean Township players, who have not been able to practice since Tuesday due to the outbreak. Six confirmed cases of impetigo have been reported by the school, which also cancelled a freshman football game scheduled for today.
"It was with the recommendation of our head football coach, Don Klein, after he had discussed all of the factors involved with our trainer and our athletic director, that we reached this decision to cancel and forfeit," Lysko said.
"Even with a varsity roster of 48 players to start (before the outbreak), the fact that our student-athletes have not been able to practice and prepare physically for most of the week presented us with added safety concerns. I fully commend coach Klein and his staff for making that difficult recommendation. Unfortunately, there's just no other time we can play the game."
Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin disease that usually affects infants and young children, according to the Mayo Clinic website
. It generally appears as red sores on the face, especially around the nose and mouth.
While impetigo commonly occurs when bacteria enter the skin through cuts or insect bites, it can also develop in skin that's healthy. It is not generally a serious condition but can take several weeks to clear up on its own.