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February 08, 2018

FSC Issues New Advisory About Fungal Infection in Talent Pool

LOS ANGELES—Free Speech Coalition on Thursday issued a new advisory warning about a fungal infection spreading in the performer pool, adding that a shutdown may be necessary if the reports continue. The advisory follows in full: Since our first advisory in December, we received over forty reports of ringworm among performers. Adult sets, just like locker rooms and gyms, can provide an environment where the fungal infection can thrive.  While ringworm is a common fungal infection, not specific to the adult industry, and generally not dangerous, it is highly contagious and should be treated immediately to prevent spreading it to others. Ringworm can be easy to treat, and easy to spot, but it takes time and continuous treatment to clear. IF YOU SUSPECT YOU OR A SCENE PARTNER HAS RINGWORM, DO NOT SHOOT. Quick Facts: Ringworm — also known as “jock itch” or “athlete’s foot” is not a ‘worm’ but an itchy fungus. The fungus is spread through direct contact with an infected person, pet, or object. The fungus thrives in warm, moist environments, which is why it commonly affects areas of the body prone to sweat – such as the feet and groin. While it is highly contagious and there is no way to guarantee prevention, maintaining strict hygiene practices can help reduce the risk. While most people report itching and redness, in serious cases, ringworm can also cause hair loss, fingernails lifting of the nailbed, secondary infections, and an increased risk for contracting STIs due to raw open skin. Over-the-counter treatments are available, depending on the severity and affected area. While redness may clear after 72hrs, in many cases it can take between 2-4 weeks to fully eliminate the fungus Ringworm is spread by skin-to-skin contact, and by sharing unwashed items like towels, clothes, makeup brushes and bedding. It can affect any part of the body. It is incredibly important to thoroughly disinfect any objects that might have been exposed to ringworm, as the fungi can survive for a long time outside of a host. This means all linens (towels, sheets, washrags, etc…), clothing, or other items that come into contact with bodies should be disinfected with hot, soapy water before and after each use. While performers are the most directly affected, everyone in the industry has an equal responsibility to prevent the spread. We have created a general guide to ringworm based on public information of the American Academy of Dermatology, and are asking that directors, agents, crew, and others review steps to help stop the spread. Steps the Industry can take to Prevent Ringworm: Performers Share this information with other performers and production companies, and talent agents. Examine yourself for signs of ringworm, and seek treatment if necessary. If you are unsure of what to look for, consult a medical provider. Examine the performers you work with consensually for signs of ringworm before makeup and wardrobe When possible, bring your own supplies (makeup, wardrobe, sanitary supplies, etc…) for personal use. Thoroughly bathe with soap and water after each scene. Make sure you dry yourself completely. Do not share towels If you believe you have ringworm DO NOT conceal it with make-up, this can worsen and lengthen the fungal infection. Seek treatment immediately; if you are unsure, consult with a medical provider. Production Ensure provided linens (towels, sheets, washrags, etc…) are thoroughly washed after each use, and not shared. Ensure that performers have time to visually examine each other consensually before the application of makeup, putting on clothes, etc. Make-Up & Wardrobe Look for visual signs of ringworm, and alert performers and crew to potential infections. Make-up artists should use disposable tools when possible, limit the sharing of tools, disinfect tools between use on each performer, and not store used tools with the make up (such as powder sponges, etc). Make sure that any surfaces such makeup chairs are thoroughly disinfected after each use. Wardrobe should wash/dry-clean all fabric garments, and disinfect all rubber, leather, or other non-fabric garments thoroughly between each use. Hair pieces and other accessories that come in contact with skin should be thoroughly cleaned after each use. Locations Thoroughly disinfect fabrics, carpets, and any surfaces that may have been exposed. Fungus can survive a long period of time. Bleach is advisable. Agents Share this information with performers in your rosters, the performers they will work with, and production companies that book them Ask your performers to screen themselves for ringworm, and seek treatment if necessary. Halt bookings for performers with ringworm. If you have Ringworm Do not be ashamed. Ringworm, Athlete’s Foot, and Jock Itch are common fungal infections that could easily have been contracted in the gym, from pets, or other common places. Take care of yourself and the people around you by completing the entire treatment course as directed. Using topical medications may show improvement or clear the infected area in as little as two or three days – however, if the entire treatment course is not adhered to the infection may reappear. Follow the directions listed on the medication or as prescribed by a physician. Keep the infected area clean and dry. Try to avoid scratching or wearing clothing that irritates the infected area. Keep the area clean and dry – cover with a bandage, if necessary. Wash or change bedding and towels daily during the course of the infection. It is very easy to re-infect yourself with ringworm if you do not disinfect the items you come into contact with during your course of treatment. Be diligent in making sure you’re not re-exposing yourself to the fungal spores and prolonging the length of recovery time. The California Department of Public Health issued an advisory about ringworm in pets in September, and so it is a common infection in the general public and not specific to the adult industry or sexual contact at all. Please contact [email protected] if you have further questions, or concerns.

 
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