Flu Outbreak Impacting Friday High School Football Games

Friday, October 2nd 2009, 11:40 am
By: News 9


WYNNEWOOD, OKLAHOMA – Plenty is being done in school across the state to keep students and faculty from catching the flu or the H1N1 virus, but not a lot is being done in stadiums.

Friday nights are high school football nights for many, and according the state health department, because the games are outdoors, there’s less of a chance of spreading viruses from person to person.

Despite this, many people are still taking their own precautions.

“I carry germ-x with me everywhere,” said Edmond North student Haley Hood.

However, the flu is affecting some Friday night football. Wynnewood High School canceled this weekend’s game after more than half of their football players contracted some form of the flu. These cases haven't been confirmed as H1N1 cases, but the district is taking no chances.

Only about 10 percent of the student body has been out with H1N1 this week, but about half of the school’s football players have a flu virus, Superintendent Alfred Gaches said.

"We just don't have the numbers," Gaches said.

“We had 17 of 39…that day, on Wednesday. Combined two days we had 57 percent those two days that were gone, combined,” said Wynnewood football coach Brad O'Steen.

Gaches said the school will try to reschedule the game against Oklahoma Christian School, but is not sure how feasible it will be. However, since it’s not a district game, if they can’t reschedule, the game will not go down as a forfeit, just as a cancellation.

"We're trying to do what's best for our students," Gaches said.

Many schools are asking that football players not share towels or water bottles because that can increase the risk of transmitting any flu from person to person.

Check out OKBlitz.com for the latest high school sports coverage.