Dr. Ralph talks swine flu

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Far and away, the best question Maryland coach Ralph Friedgen received today dealt with the swine flu.

What this says about the level of interest in his team after a 52-13 loss is another matter.

In any case, Friedgen divulged the Terps have one player who is sick. He isn’t sure if the player has swine flu, but the guy is being isolated as a precaution.

“You just worry about how devastating it is if it gets contagious on our team and our coaching staff,” Friedgen said.

If there were to be an outbreak, the Terps would be neither the first nor the last team to deal with something like it. Duke had an swath of cases during camp.

The possibility of an outbreak provides a bit of a problem in trying to determine how to deal with someone in the early stages of growing ill with something more mundane.

Then there’s the format of the program’s housing. Typically, somewhere between four and six players will share a suite, usually on either South Campus or in the Commons apartments constructed earlier this decade.

“If one were to get it, what does that do to the others in that suite?” Friedgen said. “That would really cripple us.”

Friedgen said he’s shared his concerns with players, who have been instructed to do the sort of things that are usually suggested to contain any illness – washing hands, not sharing beverage containers and eating utensils, etc.

Still, it is one extra thing for Friedgen to consider in the middle of the season.

“I’m trying not to panic on it, but I’m concerned about it,” Friedgen said.

Patrick Stevens

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