Environmental infection risks for outdoor athletes

Siddhi Ramesh, Sunit R. Jariwala, David A. Hewitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infectious disease outbreaks related to outdoor sporting events are an underacknowledged environmental health risk. We reviewed documented instances of sporting events that led to outbreaks of illness due to interactions of athletes with environmental pathogen reservoirs such as soil or water. We note that aspects of outdoor athletic activities can mediate a suppression in immune function. The implications of this review are of particular interest to environmental health professionals and healthcare professionals, as they show that populations of young, otherwise healthy adult athletes and other members of their communities are a contextually at-risk group to be aware of in order to improve and speed ability to cluster individuals in outbreaks, and for diagnosis and prevention for individual patients. This review highlights an opportunity where environmental health professionals can provide a critical linkage between patients and the environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-27
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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