CHILDREN with verrucas are often told to wear plimsolls or rubber socks during PE and swimming lessons - or are withdrawn from the class for fear that the infection will spread. But this advice is misguided, according to the former adviser to the British Olympic swimming team. In a report published in General Practitioner, Moira O'Brian, professor of chiropody and anatomy at Trinity College, Dublin, says verrucas are not as infectious as previously thought and that precautions are unnecessary.

Professor O'Brian, who managed the Irish national swimming team for more than 20 years, said she rarely saw verrucas during her involvement.