UTPB Takes Safeguards to Protect Sports Teams Against H1N1 Virus

By Camaron Abundes   
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND-The Falcon's Lady Volleyball team is clear to go to Denton for a Tournament this weekend. Before any athletic team heads out on the road, Coaches and University officials must find out if H1N1 is a concern.

Odessa College and Midland College officials say they too are taking similar precautions this athletic season.

"Sports are different in terms of contact with people and close proximity," Steve Aicinena, the women's Volleyball Coach at UTPB, said. "Before we would travel some place, we would find out if there were concerns."

University officials sent out a letter last week alerting students to the renewed concern over the virus. The letter asked students to wash their hands and stay home if they have flu like symptoms.

"It's not something I worry about personally. It's not something my teammates worry about personally," Senior Molly Atnip said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, young people are contracting the virus at higher rates. Between April and June of 2009, 5-24 year olds made up the bulk of all the cases in the United States.

"We wash our hands, we shower, everyone has antibacterial with them," Atnip said.

The CDC estimates some 1 million Americans contracted H1N1 between April and June, during the same time period 302 people died from sickness.

For more information about the H1N1 Virus: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/surveillanceqa.htm#1