Virginia Tech Forced to Cancel Football Practice
Flu "bug" has stricken 42 players, as well as staff members
August 15, 2002

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Virginia Tech's Thursday morning football practice was cancelled as a recent outbreak of a flu-like virus continues to sideline several players. The decision was made at about 8:35 a.m., as up to 18 players would have been unable to participate in the morning exercises.

Dr. Gunnar Brolinson, football team physician, released a statement about the virus that has been spreading through the team since Friday.

"As of this morning, 42 players, two trainers, two coaches, a manager and a videographer have developed symptoms of the virus."

This occurrence, a type of gastroenteritis, follows on the heels of an outbreak of Norwalk-like illness that occurred last week at a cheerleading camp at Tech. Norwalk-like illnesses are characterized as a benign self-limited disease with clinical symptoms including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.

While there is no treatment for the illness itself, the players are being treated for their symptoms, and being advised to drink plenty of fluids and get rest. In addition, the players are being told to isolate themselves from the team until they recover, as the virus is easily spread.

"I think we're at the peak of the outbreak right now," Dr. Brolinson said. "The players should be getting well by this weekend."

Today's sick players include: Nathaniel Adibi, Noland Burchette, Cols Colas, Andrew Fleck, Brenden Hill, Kevin Hilton, Will Hunt, Mike Imoh, Kevin Jones, Jared Mazzetta, Chris Pannell, Tim Sandidge, Cary Wade, Carter Warley, Blake Warren and Jimmy F. Williams. In addition, assistant coach Jim Cavanaugh is also sick.

Thursday's afternoon practice is still scheduled to be held at 3:15 p.m. Thursday morning's practice is not likely to be made up.