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Australian game canned after 11 players come down with bacterial infection

By AAP
PA

Western Australia’s premier rugby union competition has been rocked by a golden staph outbreak that has infected 11 players from the same club and sent three to hospital.

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Perth Bayswater, who play in the RugbyWA FMG Premier Grade competition, were left decimated by the golden staph outbreak this week.

The team played away games against Kalamunda and UWA over the past fortnight, but RugbyWA chief executive Simon Taylor told AAP that both of the change rooms used have been cleared of being the cause of the outbreak. 

Instead, it’s believed the infection spread from one of the Perth Bayswater players to his teammates.

The situation has forced RugbyWA to cancel this weekend’s clash between Perth Bayswater and Wests Scarborough, with both teams to share the competition points.

The WA Metropolitan Health Service has been called in to deal with the situation, and it’s believed all infected players will make a full recovery after receiving antibiotic tre atment.

“They (the government health service) have helped to identify all those processes, and it’s got nothing to do with facilities or anything else,” Taylor told AAP on Saturday.

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“So it’s come from one of the players. It transmits via skin-to-skin contact and cuts and abrasions.

“We’ve been in contact with the clubs that are connected and made sure all players are aware of the situation and look out for the symptoms and signs.

“But we haven’t had any more incidents raised as part of that process.”

Staph infections are caused by staphylococcus bacteria, which are commonly found on the skin or in the nose of healthy people.

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Most of the time the bacteria doesn’t cause problems, but it can turn deadly if the bacteria invades deeper into the body.

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Depending on the strain and severity of the golden staph infection, symptoms can include redness and swelling of the infected area, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, and joint swelling.

If no othe r players are infected, it’s hoped Perth Bayswater’s final-round clash with Nedlands next week can go ahead.

“We’ll monitor the players over the coming days. There’s a four-to-10-day incubation period related to that staph infection,” Taylor said.

“We’ll monitor that to determine our next steps next week, to determine if the team can play or not.

“It is a strain of staph that is treatable by antibiotics.

“We’re thankful that the players are all ok and are being treated. Football comes second.”

It’s the second time Perth Bayswater have been in the headlines this season.

In May, a Perth Bayswater player was banned for 96 games – a suspension lasting almost five years – after being found guilty of assaulting a referee during a game.

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