Munster and Ireland back rower David Wallace was one of a number of sports stars who helped launch a unique health awareness campaign that aims to help all those involved in sporting activities to avoid the threat of infections in sport.
Sponsored by pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur MSD, the guide’s practical, easy-to-understand advice has won the endorsement of the IRFU, FAI, GAA and Irish Hockey Association.
The initiative, titled ‘Infections in sport…prevention is key’, raises awareness of the many infections that can be acquired in sport.
It highlights the importance of focusing on safe practices amongst athletes, their coaches and all those who practice first aid in the absence of a health care professional.
Readers are advised about practical preventative measures which should be undertaken by all involved in sport.
It addresses a series of infections that can be acquired through track and field activities, including blood-borne infections such as Hepatitis B (HBV), and other infections such as Tetanus.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Conor McCarthy, Medical Director of the IRFU, said: “In sport, it is important that blood injuries are treated appropriately and safely to prevent any possible spread of infection.
“Maintaining a safe and hygienic environment in the team room and around the field of play must be the goal of all those involved in injury management at sporting events.
“Even though the chances of spreading infection through sports participation is low, the information provided in this booklet will help to educate all those involved in this area and keep these risks as low as possible.”
Reducing the risk of contracting infectious diseases is possible with safe and effective vaccination. Vaccination can protect athletes from diseases such as Hepatitis B, Tetanus and other blood-borne infections in sport that can otherwise be fatal.
It is also important that those who practice first aid and deal with bleeding injuries and athletes who travel abroad to high risk areas are vaccinated.
Copies of the booklet will be distributed in various Student Unions throughout the country and Rugby Clubs around Ireland.