Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Updated: April 30, 11:30 AM ET
Swine flu affects sports world
ESPN.com news services
The swine flu is affecting sports events across the United States and Mexico.
In Texas, high school athletic events have been postponed through May 11 because of the outbreak.
The move suspends the baseball and softball seasons and eliminates the regional track championships that were to start Friday, said Charles Breithaupt, executive director of the University Interscholastic League. He said league officials acted on the recommendation of public health officials.
"This is a particularly contagious virus that is easily transmitted by contact," ESPN medical analyst Dr. Michael Kaplan
said. "Any physical contact or inhalation/ingestion can infect another person. While most flu viruses are more virulent or dangerous for the very young and old debilitated individual, this strain seems most devastating to the young healthy adult."
School officials say 53,000 students are out of school due to concern over the virus, and dozens of schools were closed to be sanitized.
Here is a list of reactions in the sports world to the flu internationally and domestically:
• NBA vice president of basketball communications Tim Frank released a statement saying the league is monitoring advice from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Neither organization has recommended that public gatherings should be cancelled or avoided.
• The Mets say the outbreak in the New York area hasn't resulted in any changes yet. "We, to date, have yet to receive of any directive/direction from any government agency," a team official said.
• According to media relations director Jason Zillo, the Yankees are talking to City Hall to get some guidance on the matter and the team plans to take its cues from the city, the New York Daily News reported.
• A directive from MLB regarding the swine flu was distributed to all teams. The Texas Rangers sent copies to all employees. Director of travel Chris Lyngos said the team isn't too concerned because they have their own chartered jet, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
• Professional soccer games in Mexico this weekend -- 176 matches in all divisions -- will be played without fans. The ban stretches from nine top division matches to 12 first division A games, 40 in the second division and 115 in the third. Last weekend only three first division games were played behind closed doors.
• The Nationwide Tour has postponed the Mexico Open golf tournament scheduled for May 21-24 because of the swine flu outbreak. Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee says it will be rescheduled for later in the year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.