Duke’s been battling the notorious swine flu (H1N1 virus) since May, and half of the time showed symptoms in the past few weeks. They aren’t the only ones hit by the big, though. Tulane has confirmed that two of their players have tested positive for a specific strain of flu that includes the H1N1 virus, and at least ten others are sick with similar symptoms.
The school is now screening every player and staff member for symptoms to avoid a team-wide outbreak – but are they doing enough? Could college football’s Week 1 be in trouble?
Ok, number one, people need to calm down about the swine flu. It’s the flu. Yes, you can die from the flu. Yes, the H1N1 is aggressive. At the end of the end, though, if you treat the symptoms, get rest, and stay hydrated, you’ll be just fine unless there’s some reason that your immune system is compromised (such as you’re very young, very old, or have AIDS). So everyone that is freaking out? CALM DOWN.
That said, the flu, no matter what strain, is very contagious. While I’m ready for football season to start as much as the next fan, I’m wondering whether or not schools with swine flu problems shouldn’t cancel or postpone games. Football is a very contact-friendly sport, and players are gong to play if they possibly can, even if it means hiding some symptoms or getting out of bed while still feeling ill.
What we don’t want to see is an outbreak at other schools to the point where it becomes a real problem.
I trust that colleges have this under control. Football may just be starting, but students have been participating in other sports. I just hope that players across the country are responsible enough to avoid playing if they could be contagious.
UPDATE: According to reports, 18 players at Tulane have been sidelined. So, it’s good to see that the coaches and administration are making an effort to keep other players as healthy as possible.