I'm not really talking about player deaths here. I'm talking about a week or two of having a large portion of a team's players slowed by flu like symptoms. Think it's all hyperbole and not likely to impact anyone's season?
On August 15th (no idea how I missed this story until today), the Duke University said nearly half of its 99 football players have been treated for symptoms believed related to the H1N1 virus according to the Charlotte News-Observer.
"Cutcliffe, whose team is scheduled to hold a closed scrimmage today, said multiple players have battled symptoms of the virus, also known as swine flu, since the opening of training camp on Aug. 5. Several players have returned to practice, while others are recovering and will play a limited role in today's full-pad scrimmage."
In Duke's case, they've been dealing with the disease for at least 10 days. The News-Observer article says that healthy college aged athletes should suffer problems for 3-5 days on average, but their lives aren't generally at risk. But that's 3-5 days per player as it moves through a team. Thus, the near two week window if it's not isolated quickly within a team.
And it's not just Duke. Tulane had more than 24 players miss practice time because of the flu. However, only two of the cases were confirmed to be the H1N1 virus. As NOLA.com asked, isn't Tulane due for a positive break of some kind?
This virus could end up being one of the biggest story lines in college football this off season.
In case you're wondering, peak flu season generally runs from November to March.
-- 100 cases of suspected Swine Flu on GT's Campus - WSB (Aug. 25th)