February 26, 2024
"Swimmers' itch" or bacterial infection could be culprits, health agency said.

The muddy course at last weekend’s Tough Mudder race is a possible factor in participants’ reports of pain and illness, Sonoma County’s health department said.

“Multiple reports” have been received of rash and other painful symptoms, the agency said in an advisory Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Tough Mudder, which took place Aug. 19-20 at the Sonoma Raceway, put participants on an obstacle course of 3 to 9 miles that “involved extensive skin exposure to mud,” in the agency’s words.

Symptoms reported as appearing 12 to 48 hours after the event included pustular rash, fever, muscle pain, headache, nausea and vomiting, the agency said. They could be caused by “swimmers’ itch” — an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites — but might also indicate infection by Staphylococcus or Aeromonas bacteria.

The agency advised any participant who is having such symptoms to see a doctor or go to an emergency room.

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