Mumps Hits the National Hockey League


January 9, 2013; New York, NY, USA; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the National Hockey League lockout during a press conference at the Westin New York in Times Square. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Injuries in sports happens. When a team gets hit with the injury bug, it makes winning anything but easy. This season in the National Hockey League has been hit by an outbreak of the mumps.

The mumps is a viral disease that before a vaccine was developed was common in young kids. In the late 1940’s a vaccine was developed and if you went to public schools growing up you more than likely got this shot also known as the, mumps-measles-rubella vaccination, to enroll in school.

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Symptoms of the mumps include fever, feeling tired, headache and the most noticeable swelling of the salivary glands, which is what causes the cheeks to puff out. Different people show different symptoms at different times of when they have the disease in their body.

The first case of the mumps in the NHL was seen in Anaheim when Ducks Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin both had the disease. Soon it started to move east as players from the St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers and maybe even Pittsburgh.

This was Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby showed up to a morning skate yesterday with visible signs of what might the mumps.

The Penguins will sit Crosby this weekend and have him tested. Team officials say they have not detected if Crosby has the mumps yet and are keeping him out of the games this weekend just as a precaution for all involved.

Of teams affected by the mumps, the Minnesota Wild were hit drastically. Five players, Ryan Suter, Christian Folin, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella and Keith Ballard have been diagnosed and have missed playing time.

The baffling thing in this case of mumps outbreak in the NHL is where it came from and how it has been spreading. The mumps can be spread through close and long contact. That little tidbit of information explains how it was passed throughout the teammates. Yet how it got from team to team is still unknown.

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  • However now it is time for teams to try to protect not only players but also coaching staff, trainers and other workers of the stadium from contracting the mumps. The New York Islanders decided to give players and personnel mumps vaccines to help prevent any further spreading.

    For players that do have the mumps, there is no simple antibiotic that can heal them so teams have to keep them firstly isolated from the team. The mumps simply has to run its course. The disease takes about two weeks to fully heal from without any complications.

    To this point the Detroit Red Wings have yet to have any players who have contracted the mumps and fans and players alike are happy. Hopefully this nasty virus stays out of the locker room at the Joe Louis Arena. The rest of the NHL now has to deal with getting the league free of the mumps which will take more time and won’t be easy in the least.

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