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U.S. Soccer Taking Preventative Measures in Response to Diagnosis of Player with Influenza A Virus

CHICAGO (August 14, 2009) — U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Landon Donovan was tested and diagnosed with the influenza A virus on Thursday (Aug. 13), a day after playing in the FIFA World Cup qualifier against Mexico in Mexico City.

Based on the close exposure to Donovan during the team’s training camp in Miami and match against Mexico, the U.S. Soccer medical staff is following the recommendations from the Center of Disease Control and providing prophylactic treatment as a preventative measure to all players, coaches and staff members that were part of the team delegation.

It has been determined that Donovan most likely contracted the virus while with his club team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, before coming into camp with the Men’s National Team on Aug. 9. Prior to his arrival in Miami to join the Men’s National Team, Donovan was unaware he had come in contact with the virus as he only experienced very mild symptoms, and did not feel the need to express any concern to the U.S. medical staff. No other players expressed or showed signs of flu-like symptoms while in camp.

Based on the category of the virus strain, the fact that influenza does not normally occur in the United States in the month of August, and the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, it is presumed he has the H1N1 strain of influenza.

As a precaution, all members of the U.S. team delegation who came in close contact with Donovan have been advised to take a course of Tamiflu, which consists of 75 mg a day for 10 days. According to CDC guidelines, it is not necessary for members of the team delegation to be quarantined if they do not have any symptoms of the virus.

“We have prescribed the medication to players, coaches and staff members who may have come in close contact with Landon Donovan solely as a preventative measure,” said Dr. David Wallis, a member of the U.S. Soccer medical staff. “Based on CDC recommendations, individuals who did not experience close contact with the player, such as journalists, fans or opposing players, do not need to take any preventative measures. As of now, no other member of the U.S. team delegation has indicated any symptoms associated with the virus and at this time we do not believe additional steps are necessary. However, we will be continuing to monitor the situation and CDC recommendations very closely as we continue to learn more.”

Donovan joined the U.S. team on Sunday (Aug. 9) in Miami, where they trained for two days before traveling to Mexico City. After playing in the match against Mexico in the afternoon on Aug. 12, Donovan returned to Los Angeles that night. The following day, he felt ill and as a precautionary measure he decided to get tested and was diagnosed with the virus. Donovan was quarantined and is being treated with Tamiflu. According to Dr. Wallis, Donovan continues to experience mild symptoms and is expected to be fine within a couple days.

For more information, click here for the CDC recommendations on influenza A (H1N1).