Study: Dangerous germs found in gym equipment

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CALLISBURG, TX - If you like working out at the gym or playing sports, you're at risk of spreading potentially dangerous germs according to a study by the University of California--Irvine.

In fact, a group of Texoma high school kids may have gotten sick while using gym equipment.

Callisburg High School Sophomore, Rance Sanborn was working out in the school weight room last week when he started feeling very sick.

"I started having really bad migraines. The back of my neck got really tight, nauseated. A lot of the people, some of the kids who got sick, they threw up," he said.

Sanborn's one of several students diagnosed with viral meningitis after using the school's athletic facilities.

T.M.C's Dr. Aditi Swami said viral meningitis can be picked up from using gym and athletic equipment. Medical experts said bacteria that cause staph infection can also be found in those surfaces.

"It is actually true, gym equipment or sports and athletic equipment can have a lot of bacteria, viruses and fungus if it's not cleaned well or if it's not maintained very well," she said.

Swami said the students are lucky because viral meningitis is not as serious or deadly as bacterial meningitis.

"It's more of a diarrheal illness. You can have a rash, you can have nausea, you can have vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain," she said.

Callisburg ISD Superintendent, Steve Clugston, said it hasn't been confirmed if viral meningitis was picked up from the school or if a student walked in with the illness. But they are disinfecting facilities and equipment daily as a precaution.

Dr. Swami said that will do the trick.

"Just make sure that you wipe the equipment clean before you use it. Always carry some hand sanitizer with you so wash your hands before and after use," she said.

And Sanborn advises fellow athletes to be aware of those around them.

"Just make sure that certain kids around you aren't sick. If they are, tell them to get treated even if it's just a cold," he said.