Melbourne could host a women’s Final Four from March 18-22, and one of the first tasks for the organizing committee will be to educate players about the elevated risks posed by norovirus. Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has advised the players to take a vaccination, reported Australia’s The Guardian.
“The good news is that the NPA vaccine is readily available and easily available and has a very high rate of success,” Hunt told reporters. “It does really act as a barrier against infection from Norovirus.”
This has led to a decline in Australians traveling to sporting events abroad.
“This is a considered approach from the management team,” Hunt said. “So, it’s worked in Northern Ireland, it worked in New Zealand and it’s worked here in Australia. We want to see that really succeed.”
The viral disease, Norovirus, which can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, can be transmitted in public settings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it can affect individuals of all ages, it is often a particular challenge to children.
“An average number of cases per school year is around 25,” Hunt said. “We want to make sure every other child gets vaccinated before they go overseas in March.”
Hunt said he would be “happy” to meet with the players directly.
This isn’t the first time athletes have been advised to take action in their pre-tournament preparation. There have been reports of the rise of Ebola in the offseason, players taking advantage of creams for athlete’s foot, and pro wrestling wrestler Sting revealing that he has ticked off his anti-flu prescription list, leaving his family in North Carolina without an adequate supply of medicine.