August 21, 2009

Sickness keeps Tulane players out of action

Approximately 18 Tulane football players were held out of practice this morning at the Superdome for experiencing an illness.

Included in that group are running backs Andre Anderson, Payten Jason, tight end Tyler Helm, offensive linemen Tyler Rice and John Landa, cornerbacks Charles Harris and Philip Davis, along with a number of reserves.

"It looks like the Civil War out here," head coach Bob Toledo said.

There is a thread on Joe Kennedy's Wave Crest with ongoing information HERE

Tulane University has issued this official release on the matter.

"New Orleans - The Tulane University football team has several players who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms that could be indicative of the H1N1 virus infection. The team physician, Dr. Greg Stewart, is treating the players according to CDC guidelines.

The affected individuals have been excused from practice and their symptoms are being monitored closely. To date, all affected individuals have shown mild symptoms and are recovering quickly. The players will return to practice only after Dr. Stewart has cleared them.

It is expected that additional student-athletes and staff could become sick as the disease takes it course. Dr. Stewart and his staff are screening every football player and football-affiliated staff member every day to check for flu-like symptoms.

Since the start of practice earlier this month, Dr. Stewart and his staff have counseled the team about how infectious diseases such as H1N1 are spread and repeatedly emphasized precautionary measures. They have encouraged any players who feel sick to immediately report their symptoms to the training room staff."

Dr. Stewart told The Wave Report any players with symptoms will be off the field for at least two days, but it's likely most will return by the end of next week.

"It's an average of five days usually," Stewart said. "So anywhere from two to seven days is the normal time. We will wait until 24 hours without any symptoms, then we will bring a player back."

It's part of an overcautious strategy being employed by Stewart and his medical team, which works backward from the assumption that everyone who has symptoms could be infected with H1N1.

"We are being overcautious and we know it," Stewart said. "This is the best way to contain anything that could happen and we aren't going to let this spread."

The Wave Report will have more as the day continues.

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