Welcome to the N1H1L

By , October 28, 2009 10:17 pm
Avs, Oil and Caps. Who's next?

Avs, Oil and Caps. Who's next?

So far this season three players have tested positive for the H1N1 virus. Patient zero was Peter Budaj of the Colorado Avalanche, more recently Ladislav Smid of the Edmonton Oilers and today news of Quintin Laing of the Washington Capitals.  Colorado and Edmonton have met recently, but this was after Budaj had already been quarantined.   The Caps have yet to play either team, so this isn’t just cross contamination.

In an environment such as the NHL, players are in close quarters at numerous times. On the bench, in the dressing room, on the bus or plane. When they are at practices or games, they are sweating a great deal and some players like Khabibulin sweat enough to leave a trail behind them.

Should the players be required to take the flu shot yearly?

They are under contract to perform and if they take ill the team suffers. Similar to actors being insured by studios if an actor gets injured or worse. On the other hand, has enough testing been done with this vaccine and will it really help? I personally don’t think that it is something that can be forced on someone, and there are ways you can safeguard yourself. Primarily good hygiene. Keeping the hands clean and away from the eyes and nostrils, using sanitizer to disinfect.

The vaccine has just recently been approved in Canada for a strain that we still no little about. It’s only been through one season so far and that was over our summer in places like Australia. Is it really any different than other flus of the past that quietly take lives every year?

It’s still early in the season. Both hockey and the flu that is, so with many other players showing flu like symptoms, look for the numbers to go up. So next time you’re at the local watching a game, maybe think twice about that bowl of nuts and I shouldn’t have to tell you to wash up after a trip to the bathroom.

Keep things clean out there and stay safe.

11 Responses to “Welcome to the N1H1L”

  1. zackman35 says:

    Well, one of my friends moms’ is a nurse and she mentioned that too much disinfectant is bad because it gets rid of the good bacteria if that makes any sense. Overall though there’s not too much anyone can do really since it’s a new strain of the flu. Our bodies haven’t adapted yet to this new strain of flu and in my opinion I can’t really see the shots being a prominent guarantee of health for another few months or even years yet.

    The best thing to probably do, like you mentioned Trogdor, is to keep up on hygiene and proper diet and adequate exercise will also help. The only option we have really is to just sit back let it hit, if it does hit us, and hopefully have a full recovery.

    EDIT: Dougy Weight has H1N1 too apparently. And I really like your cartoon, good job!

  2. chucker says:

    As a former healthcare worker who was skeptical at these shots when they first came out, I’m now a huge advocate and have been for about 15 years. The first few years I got the shot I had no flu, which was unheard of for an X-ray tech who is exposed to about 55 people a day coughing and sneezing in ones face. One year I skipped it and was sick as a dog. Now we took prevention extremely seriously.

    I always hand washed in between every single patient, and all healthcare workers do and always wore gloves and a mask when needed. I also keep myself in the best shape I can dietary wise and exercise wise. Prevention gets 99% of it, but with a flu this virulent, it would be dumb to not get the shot IMO. Same thing goes for the seasonal flu shot.

    Basically they put about 4-5 viruses in the seasonal shot anticipating the origin strain. They’ve been doing these for over 20 years and are very, very safe and very, very effective. If I owned the club, it’s a mandatory shot. The Oilers all did get the shot and you saw how the flu still ravaged them. This with boosted immunity in arguable the healthiest sampling of athletes around. For guys and gals like us, it should be a no brainer.

    And all this “I heard about some guy who blah blah blah”. Idiiots abound these days in health discussions. New age heatlth and knowledge can be good, but the amount of plain idiotic information out there is astounding. If there is a natioal campaign spending millions of dollars for you to get the shot, then you better get it. All the CDC docs say get it and these guys know their shit. Believe me, if they say it’s an issue that everyone needs to take seriously, it is.

    Anyway. Go get yer shot. It takes an hour and then you don’t have to worry about it.

  3. zackman35 says:

    Chucker, so the H1N1 shot is legit? I can’t see it being lethal or anything to that extent but you think it’s a good idea to get one with the vaccination so new, or does that really matter? I’m no expert but if you were in the Health Care business I have a feeling you’d be the best to ask around here.

  4. Horpensky says:

    There really does seem to be something around lately. Semin missed a couple games, Pascal Leclair couldn’t finish the game tonight because of the flu, Dustin Boyd was out with the flu tonight, Doug Weight had the swine flu… a lot of these could be the swine flu, the severity seems to vary and its hard to tell. Smid could play with the H1N1 while Brule couldn’t even get out of bed with the regular flu.

    I don’t buy into the whole conspiracy theory/fear mongering thing when most people saying this don’t even work in heath care. I trust the heath care people know the best, as I know lots of people who work in health care and they all recommend the shot. Still like Chucker said, just get it, it doesn’t hurt in the long run (though I’m allergic to eggs and they have some sort of allergy warning for this). Those who won’t get it just because they think they’re helping pharmaceutical corporations and feeding their fear mongering tactics are just idiots. Those afraid of side effects, well it’s still early but they’ve done their testing to get it approved, but it’s 100% impossible to tell if you’d get sick from it.

  5. Racki says:

    FYI, the Oilers haven’t had the H1N1 vaccine yet. Quinn mentioned in his interview last night that none of the players have had it yet and are hoping that the vaccines will be made available to them as well too (aside from waiting in line at a clinic).

    “When its available (swine flu shot) they will be getting the shot. In Alberta we have not been allocated the serum at this point. It is not available although the public were able to lineup but we haven’t asked our players to lineup with the public at this point.”

  6. Trogdor says:

    It’s something I usually skip (flu shot) as I’m rarely down for long with anything. I did have a bad experience with it once getting very ill shortly after. Coincidence? I don’t know…

    I will most likely get it this year though since my wife’s expecting and I’m no longer just looking out for numero uno. She’s pretty hesitant though and has a lot of questions, but she’s seeing the OB/GYN tomorrow and I’m sure she’ll be able to answer all of her questions.

  7. Racki says:

    I don’t know, if I get the shot, I’ll do it after the lines have died way down though, maybe.

  8. Steve-O says:

    I don’t do needles…

  9. Racki says:

    Pansy. It’s less painful than a tattoo.

  10. Trogdor says:

    Agreed. A tattoo is an endless succession of needles…

  11. chucker says:

    zackman35: Chucker, so the H1N1 shot is legit? I can’t see it being lethal or anything to that extent but you think it’s a good idea to get one with the vaccination so new, or does that really matter? I’m no expert but if you were in the Health Care business I have a feeling you’d be the best to ask around here.

    Absolutely. It’s no different than the seasonal flu shot. The only difference is we knew about which virus it was because of the high profile in the media. It’s exactly the same procedure to produce it as the 4-5 viruses in seasonal flu shots that have been around for over 20 years. With the way this flu is impacting, I would say it’s not the best decision to not get it. (being polite :D )

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Columnists/Zeisberger/2009/10/29/11564801-sun.html A related story about Blake. This kid was his neighbors’s son.

    I also saw Commodore missed 8 games because of H1N1.

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