PHOENIX - A football game scheduled for Friday night between Alhambra and North high schools has been canceled because Alhambra players have been diagnosed with a contagious bacterial skin infection, Phoenix Union High School District said.
Officials with the school district say up to 20 Alhambra players have been diagnosed with impetigo and are currently being treated. Maricopa County Department of Public Health has recommended that individuals with the rash not participate in sports until they recover.
The game was canceled as a health precaution for both teams. The game has been rescheduled for Oct. 13, Phoenix Union said.
"Most of the lesions have been on the forearms and on the elbows which is probably of a higher incidence of contact for those areas so that's where the spread has been," said Phoenix Union Athletics Director Zack Munoz.
The infection is highly-contagious, especially when the sores and blisters are broken, Phoenix Union said. The infection, which is treated with antibiotics, started appearing last week. Munoz believes a player got it from a younger sibling before spreading the infection to his teammates.
Litzy Jaimes is a student who helps out the football team with gear and water. She says her friend who caught impetigo is making a quick recovery.
"He's doing good. He's still on the football team, he's a varsity player and he looks like he's doing really well," she said.
The Alhambra custodial crew has been working to disinfect and sanitize common areas that may have exposed to the bacteria.
"I hired a company that's been used across the state through our interscholastic association to go in and also do a more long term like spraying of the locker room, the flooring, the walls, the pads," Munoz said.
Jaimes said they've been spraying the players, too.
So far, everyone seems calm, even Jaimes who comes in close contact. "I know that they're taking care of it," she said.
The players skin should be healed in time to take part in next Friday’s game. Alhambra is scheduled to host Carl Hayden High School next week, while North will host Camelback High School.
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