Yes, that's a thing that needs to be written. Maybe say it out loud to really let the incredulity of it bounce around the room. But mumps have been a big time issue around the NHL this season, with several locker rooms around the league dealing with outbreaks of a disease that most of us have been vaccinated for and therefore think isn't a threat.
After Thursday night's game against New Jersey -- one of several teams that have been impacted by mumps -- Flyers general manager Ron Hextall discussed how the team is dealing with the threat of mumps around the league. Mumps is a viral infection that causes uncomfortable, if not downright painful, swelling of the salivary glands. It's contagious and spreads through coughing and sneezing, so it's obviously easily spread in the close quarters of an NHL locker room.
The Flyers have offered all players vaccinations, and of course they're preaching all the little things that players can do to keep the disease down. Here's Hextall's full Q&A with the media about the mumps issue.
Are you doing anything to prevent the spread of the mumps that are going around?
"Yeah we are. We've talked about it. We've addressed some things. We've got it covered as much as we can. Clean buildings and wash your hands and vaccines and everything else you can do. We've done everything we can do to protect our players and our staff."
They have had vaccines?
The ones who haven't already had the mumps?
"I don't have an exact break down for you."
Can you get it again once you've had it?
"No, I don't think you can get it if you've had it. But if you've had the vaccination when you were young, apparently it wears off. I'm not a doctor. I shouldn't be talking about this, but that's what they've told me."
Is it a concern for you?
"Yeah it's a concern. Absolutely. It's been rampant around the league. And it's not a one-day thing. I've talked to other managers too that it had gone through their team and their docs have told them that everybody on their team has been exposed to it but only certain people are susceptible for whatever reason. We've talked long and hard about it. Talked to our medical staff numerous times and we've addressed it as best as we can."
Do you know, ball park, how many of your guys have had the mumps?
"No I don't. That would be a question for the docs. But I know everyone has been offered a vaccination. And again we have cleaned rooms and we've got hand wash all over the place. I was making jokes today about it. So we've done what we can do. But yeah, we worry about it for sure."