Staph infection is 49ers' fourth in four years

Staph infection is 49ers' fourth in four years
October 6, 2011, 3:44 pm
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The 49ers are no strangers to staph, as nose tackle Isaac Sopoaga's case is the fourth-known infection to strike a team member in the past four seasons.Staph is bacteria that can enter the body through an abrasion, causing infection. Most infections are minor, but certain strains can cause athletes to miss significant playing time. Those serious strains can be resistant to antibiotics.
The 49ers have declined official comment. But a source said Sopoaga's infection is not believed to be serious. It is unknown how much time he will miss. The 49ers play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday at Candlestick Park.It is also unknown how or where Sopoaga contracted his staph infection. The 49ers played Sept 25 at Cincinnati. After the game, the team traveled to Youngstown, Ohio, where they practiced three times over the next five days. On Friday, the 49ers flew to Philadelphia for Sunday's game. Immediately following the game, the team flew back to the Bay Area, arriving home Sunday night.Football locker rooms are particularly susceptible to staph infections because the players regularly sustain cuts and abrasions. There are up to 61 players, including practice squad, in the tight quarters of a locker room.The 49ers were hit with two staph infections in 2008. Receiver Joshua Morgan, who lost 15 pounds, and safety Keith Lewis both missed practices late in the exhibition season.The following year, defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois was placed on the non-football illness list upon reporting to training camp with a staph infection. The club said he contracted it in Miami before reporting to camp. He missed the first five days of camp before being cleared to practice.