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21 NBA Players Gave Each Other A Disease

Vomiting, diarrhea. In pro sports parlance, that's "flu-like symptoms," and it's not uncommon to see a player sidelined here or there. But last fall, 21 players on 13 different teams all fell victim to one strain of the norovirus, the stomach flu and the CDC thinks they gave it to each other while hanging out off the court.

Norovirus is the one that always pops up on cruise ships, prisons or in some other closed system. Like the NBA social circle.

The virus can spread through the air on the basketball court. But researchers said it more likely was spread by players socializing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiated the investigation after reading media reports about player illnesses, and the NBA cooperated, said Dr. Rishi Desai, one of the CDC investigators.

It's not clear how the outbreak started, but the strain of norovirus was an unusual enough that investigators believe players got it from each other rather than from family members or others, he added.


Oh, I think it's very clear how the outbreak started.

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