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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Wednesday, December 08, 2021
Athletic Department bracing for H1N1 impact

henry: Aaron Henry is one of many student-athletes on the Wisconsin football team who have come down with flu-like symptoms recently.

Athletic Department bracing for H1N1 impact

For many students, contracting the H1N1 virus is a major concern. Coming down with a case of the virus means being quarantined at home and potentially falling behind in school work.

But for student athletes, the effects of the virus can be even worse. Not only do they miss class time, they could also be forced to stay away from practices and games for the team they play for.

Even if they do try to quarantine themselves, the close quarters many teams share could mean spreading the virus to teammates and coaches.

Multiple teams within the Wisconsin Athletic Department have been affected by the virus, and have tried to stop its spread within their locker rooms.

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Although it was never confirmed as the H1N1 virus, many players on the Wisconsin football team came down with flu-like symptoms in the week before last Saturday's game against Fresno State.

The team closed practice to the media Sept. 8 after multiple players came down with symptoms over the weekend. Early team figures estimated that the number of players suffering symptoms was in the low double digits.

However, after Saturday's victory over Fresno State, Bielema said more than 40 players had flu-like symptoms and six had to be put on IVs. Bielema also said sophomore defensive back Aaron Henry had to sit out most of the Fresno State game after coming down with severe symptoms.

In his Monday press conference, Bielema said he thinks whatever players have been getting has mostly run its course for the team, but added that team doctors had told him ""you're never going to be totally through [the flu].""

""We had two new guys pop up yesterday,"" he said. ""So we're kind of just going off what our medical staff and trainers have told us.""

""You've just got to give them plenty of rest at that time and hopefully the worst is behind us,"" Bielema added.

Football is not the only sport that has been taking precautions and dealing with the threat of a virus spreading through the team.

Men's soccer head coach Todd Yeagley said some players on his team have come down with flu-like symptoms in the past few weeks, and that players have been doing everything possible to avoid spreading the virus.

""If any guys do have the sniffles we're making sure they get in to see our doctors right away.  We're being very pro-active,"" Yeagley said. ""So if we have anyone that's not feeling well, we make sure they see the doctor right away.""

Players on the team have been given personal bottles of hand sanitizer and told to wash their hands as often as possible, and water at practice is served from personal cups instead of shared team water bottles.

Senior forward Scott Lorenz said he has not contracted the virus, and that he is trying hard to keep it that way.

""You do what you can, you wash your hands all the time,"" he said, adding that he tells other players to wash their hands ""up to 30 times a day.""

Despite those efforts, Lorenz said he is ""not really that nervous"" about catching the virus, and that ""for the most part I put my body in the right position to take care of itself.""

For Yeagley, losing a player to H1N1 or any other virus can be an issue, but it is simply something coaches have to adapt and deal with.

""If we have somebody that's out, [we will] be ready to get the the next guy in,"" he said.

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