Texans TE First In NFL With Swine Flu

image AP

Houston Texans rookie tight end Anthony Hill was hospitalized this week with swine flu in the first confirmed case in an NFL player this season.

Hill is the only player on the team believed to have swine flu and other players are being monitored, Texans vice president of communications Tony Wyllie said Friday.

Hill, a fourth-round pick from North Carolina State, spent two nights in the hospital and told KRIV-TV in Houston that he was released from the hospital Friday morning.

"In the beginning doctors thought it was pneumonia," Hill told the station. "It wasn't. Then (Thursday) results for swine flu came back and it was positive. I was already taking medicine for both."

Houston (1-2) hosts Oakland (1-2) on Sunday.

The Texans are the first team to confirm that one of its players has swine flu, also called the H1N1 virus. Houston players receive shots for seasonal flu each year and had already received them this year.

Vaccines for the swine flu aren't expected to be available until later this month and even then there will only be a very limited amount of doses.

Coach Gary Kubiak said there were a few players who felt ill Thursday, but that they were OK by Friday.

"There's no panic at all," he said. "We handled it well as an organization (Thursday) evening and understood what was going on, got on top of anybody who wasn't feeling good (Thursday) evening and (Friday) we responded well. Everybody was fine."

In late August, Miami Dolphins defensive backs Sean Smith and Jason Allen were scratched from an exhibition game with flu-like symptoms, but the team declined to say whether the players were tested for swine flu. Smith and Allen declined comment.

The new swine flu seems no more deadly than regular winter flu, which every year kills 36,000 Americans and hospitalizes 200,000. This H1N1 strain sickens younger people more frequently than the over-65 population who are seasonal flu's main victims.

Flu-like symptoms have hit a number of college programs this season, including Wisconsin and No. 1 Florida, which last month held a number of players out of practice. The Gators had a round of flu shots about a week after a school official predicted that as many as 40 percent of students could catch swine flu this season.

The Texans are following the advice of medical advisers and don't have reason to believe that anyone else has the swine flu.

"I think we're obviously doing everything we're told to do from that standpoint," Kubiak said. "We're taking every precaution we can. The good news is ... we feel like it's very isolated and we're getting ready to go play a game."

  • CBSNews

Comments