Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sources: Miami Dolphins corners Sean Smith, Jason Allen tested for swine flu:


Sean Smith and Jason Allen were suffering from flu-like symptoms, and the team told the players not to attend Saturday's game.


The Dolphins advised their players Saturday morning that two of their teammates would not attend Saturday night's game out of fear that both contracted swine flu, but test results have not yet indicated whether such fears are warranted.

Cornerbacks Sean Smith and Jason Allen fell ill late last week, suffering from flu-like symptoms, which led to the team's decision to treat the situation with extreme caution by telling the players to increase their hygiene practices.

``We're taking all of the proper precautions until we can find out exactly what is going on,'' coach Tony Sparano said.

Sparano said the team is still awaiting the test results, which aren't expected until Monday at the earliest.

In the meantime, while their teammates played at Land Shark Stadium, Smith and Allen spent their night secluded at the team's hotel.

After the game, several players talked about the reality that swine flu might have found its way into the locker room. Running back Ronnie Brown said it made him ``a little nervous'' when the team mentioned the words ``swine flu'' earlier Saturday.

``You see it on TV, but to actually have it be close, to have it be affecting you a little bit, that's kind of scary,'' Brown said. ``But at the same time, you just have to wash your hands and do whatever you need to do to stay away from that.''

Often times, especially during the summer months, any flu-like symptoms cause doctors to look toward swine flu as a strong possibility, since it isn't until the fall months when the more common -- and less contagious -- flu is prominent.

Cornerback Nathan Jones emphasized Brown's point, noting it's strange to have to deal with the potential of swine flu in the locker room.

``In an environment like this, where you're on a team and guys are always around each other, you've got to be careful,'' Jones said. ``Things you hear about on the news that you take for granted -- wash your hands, cover your mouth, all that stuff -- you've got to do it.

``We're around each other, 24/7. I hope those guys get better. Hope it's not swine and we'll continue to go on as a team.''

Smith's agent, David Canter, was optimistic that the players would not test positive for swine flu. Canter said on his Twitter account that Smith is ``absolutely fine.''

The team, however, is not willing to go that far with its assessment just yet, maintaining a precautionary outlook until test results are able to clear both players. Brown said the team emphasized to players that they should use extra hygiene precautions, which consists of washing their hands as often as possible.

``We have the [hand sanitizer] in the bathroom and the soap dispensers and all that and we obviously have a shower,'' Brown said. ``We just try to stay clean and wash your hands, especially when you're in a big group, it usually travels, so it just gives us a little extra precaution.''

Whatever the outcome, the disease is considered manageable and symptoms in healthy adults tend to be mild. However, its high level of contagiousness would create a serious task for the team's staff to make sure it doesn't spread.

The contagious nature of the disease also was the reason why the team advised its players earlier Saturday of the worst-case scenario, sources said.

Earlier this month, the NFL Players Association emphasized on its website that the league would be monitoring the potential of swine flu very closely -- especially once the season changes in the next few months.

No comments:

Post a Comment