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Sidney Crosby Stricken in NHL Mumps Outbreak

Sidney Crosby Stricken in NHL Mumps Outbreak

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Doctors diagnosed Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby with the mumps, which is currently making the rounds in the NHL. The team, though, is under fire because coaches and physicians allowed him to practice with the team on Friday.

Crosby missed Thursday’s practice due to illness, but showed up on Friday and insisted he felt well enough to skate. The coaches and physicians did not stop him even though he displayed facial swelling. He finished practice and even addressed the media afterwards.

Team physician Dharmesh Vyas said Crosby received a neck injury on November 28. A CT scan confirmed the injury and Vyas also tested him for mumps, which came back negative. The medical team provided Crosby with medications for swelling, but the part of his neck next to his injury swelled after he finished the medication. Vyas placed Crosby under more tests, which continued to show no mumps. From NHL.com:

Crosby underwent another set of tests, which included sending out DNA for Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which Vyas called a “highly sophisticated test,” to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Penguins held Crosby out of a game against the Calgary Flames on Friday in anticipation of the test results.

Pittsburgh discovered the test results were positive Saturday night. Crosby has been placed in isolation, Vyas said. He said the CDC recommends five days of isolation before the infectious period is completed.

“Sidney was one of the highest on the team protecting him against the virus,” Vyas told the media. “He had immunizations as well as a booster shot as recently as less than a year ago for the Olympics. He was well protected from his antibody standpoint. He also had no symptoms, such as fever or chills or generalized body aches, but we nevertheless continued to follow him closely.”

Vyas also said the entire team received vaccinations two weeks ago due to the outbreak in the league. But the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said the “two-dose vaccination for the mumps only comes with only and 85-88 percent effectiveness.”

“Mumps is spread by droplets of saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose, or throat of an infected person, usually when the person coughs, sneezes, or talks,” says the CDC. “Items used by an infected person, such as soft drink cans or eating utensils, can also be contaminated with the virus, which may spread to others if those items are shared. In addition, the virus may spread when someone with mumps touches items or surfaces without washing their hands and someone else then touches the same surface and rubs their mouth or nose.”

Due to the Pittsburgh’s inability to properly diagnose Crosby or at least take precautions, his teammates and media personnel were exposed to the highly contagious disease. As CBS Sports says, the pictures on Twitter would raise concerns about Crosby’s health.


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