The Effects Of Sports On Sports Participation

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Sports participation often involves close physical contact, sharing of facilities and equipment which provides an opportunity for the transmission of communicable disease primarily through:  Direct Contact. Occurs between an infected person/animal and healthy individual via physical contact with skin, mucosa and other bodily fluids and/or  Indirect Contact. Results from contact with contaminated sources such as air, water, soil, food, insects and fomites. (Carney et al., 2010 p.4). This raises concern as physical fitness is an essential RAF requisite; all personnel must maintain a level of fitness that is subject to annual assessment (RAF, 2016). To facilitate this requirement, the RAF provides most Stations with a wide range…show more content…
Viral diseases such as Rhinovirus (common cold), Norovirus and measles can be spread through airborne or droplet transmission as pathogens are expelled from the body through coughing and/or sneezing. Although, people are encouraged to cover the face with their hands when coughing/sneezing this practice can exacerbate spread of infection, 40% of rhinoviruses remain infectious on hands after one hour (NHS, 2015). Infected individuals may inadvertently contaminate individuals and fomites such as; door handles, weights and gym mats through touch. Goldhammer et al’s (2006) study on bacterial and viral contamination of exercise equipment before and after cleaning supports this assumption as viral contamination was found on 63% of hand-contact surfaces of the equipment, with Rhinovirus being the most prominent. Thus indicating that exercise equipment serve as potential fomites in transmission of viral diseases.  Skin and Soft Tissue Infections (SSTIs). Due to frequent physical contact, trauma and/or friction, excessive sweating, occlusive (air restrictive) clothing and communal use of equipment and facilities SSTIs are prominently reported in sports (Narvani, Thomas
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