Wed, Dec 10, 2014 - Page 18 News List

Number of NHL teams battling outbreak of mumps

AFP, LOS ANGELES

The NHL is battling an outbreak of mumps, with a reported nine players sidelined by the viral illness better known for keeping swollen-faced youngsters home from school.

“I’m glad it’s out of my system,” Minneapolis Wild defenseman Ryan Suter told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune on Monday after battling the fever, fatigue and muscle aches of mumps. “There’s a few days where you really can’t do anything. It’s a miserable virus.”

The Chicago Tribune reported that three teams — the Wild, the Anaheim Ducks and the New York Rangers — have had players with confirmed cases of the illness, which can cause the characteristic swelling of the salivary glands.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the Tribune that the league had been in touch with team doctors to discuss “best practices” to avoid the virus spreading, but that each team was free to decide how to combat the illness, such as providing immunization boosters.

Suter told the Star-Tribune he was sorry he skipped the mumps booster offered by the club last month — after the first Anaheim Ducks players were diagnosed.

He said he thought it could not happen to him.

“I always tell these guys: ‘You’ve got to be mentally strong and you’ll never get sick,’” Suter said. “So they’re all giving me a hard time.”

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