With recent cases of influenza, especially from the H3N2 virus, including in and around hockey, Dr. Michael Stuart, chief medical officer of USA Hockey, has issued recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus.
“Influenza is not specific to hockey and is by no means an epidemic. However, we have had cases in hockey and as a responsible youth sports organization, it’s important we share tips to help prevent the spread of influenza and also raise awareness in the hockey community,” said Stuart.
What is Influenza?
Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu vaccine is recommended but has been less effective from the prevalent H3N2 virus strain. Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue. Some people also may have vomiting and diarrhea. If flu symptoms occur, you should be evaluated by a physician and started on antiviral medication if necessary.
Dr. Stuart’s tips on how to prevent and stop the spread of influenza
- Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick
- Quarantine this with flu symptoms (players, coaches, parents, roommates)
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer
- Use individual water bottles
- Don’t try to “play through” the illness
- See your doctor
For more information on influenza, visit: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/index.html