EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The NFL has sent a newsletter outlining the basic facts about the Ebola virus to all team doctors and trainers for distribution to players and staff.
The league said Wednesday the newsletter was written by the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network, the league’s infectious disease consultants, and sent to the league’s 32 teams on Monday.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Wednesday in an email the newsletter was informational.
The two doctors who signed the newsletter advised teams that they did not need to screen players or staff to make sure they have not had close contact with anyone who traveled to or from areas where Ebola is now endemic.
“We do recommend that medical personnel educate their players and staff about the need to inform club medical personnel in the unlikely event that they actually have such contact,” the doctors wrote.
The doctors wrote that the public and medical community have been bombarded with news stories about the emergence of Ebola virus disease in West Africa and its subsequent importation into the United States. The stories emphasized the high mortality of the disease in several African countries; that health care workers have died in those areas caring for infected patients; and that the virus has been transferred to medical personnel in Dallas by a man from Liberia being treated at their hospital. That man died on Oct. 8.
“Our goal in writing this newsletter is to provide basic facts and answers to common questions that may arise in players, their families, or your staff-particularly if imported cases of Ebola have occurred in your local community,” Drs. Daniel J. Sexton and Deverick J. Anderson wrote in the newsletter they signed.
Fears of the Ebola virus deepened Wednesday with word a second Dallas nurse caught the disease from a patient and flew across the Midwest aboard an airliner the day before being diagnosed.
The New York Giants provided the information to their players and staff electronically on Wednesday morning, team spokesman Pat Hanlon said.
The Giants (3-3) play the Cowboys (5-1) in Dallas on Sunday.
“Our athletic trainers and team physicians have been briefed on the scope of the Ebola virus disease,” Hanlon said in an email.
Hanlon added the team did nothing out of the ordinary other than providing background and information on the disease.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning was not concerned heading to Dallas.
“No, I don’t worry about myself or the team,” Manning said. “I think what we’re doing, where we’re staying, I think we’ll be OK.”
Dallas coach Jason Garrett seemed caught off-guard when asked if he had to address his team about Ebola.
“Really haven’t, to be honest with you,” Garrett said. “I don’t think it has directly affected us. So it hasn’t been something we have addressed directly with our players. ”
The newsletter ends with the recommendation if any NFL personnel encounter situations or questions about possible exposure to Ebola virus in team personnel or their family members that they seek advice from either an infectious diseases specialist affiliated with their team, team physicians, or with their local health department.