With the recent rash of influenza outbreaks in Minnesota and other parts of the nation, Minnesota Hockey, in partnership with USA Hockey, would like to strongly advise its members to take extra precautions to be safe and prevent the spread of influenza and other communicable diseases:
USA Hockey recommends:
1. Provide individual water bottles. Do not share water bottles.
2. Regularly wash hands.
3. Clean workout gear for each practice/competition.
4. Opposing coaches should agree pregame to have their players keep gloves on during the traditional handshake with opponents.
Individuals with influenza may develop typical signs or symptoms of: fever (102°degrees F or greater), cough, muscle aches, runny nose, headache, or sore throat with the potential for more serious complications, including pneumonia.
Transmission of influenza virus may occur from the day before the onset of symptoms and during the 5-7 days that these symptoms are present.
While not 100% effective, a flu vaccine is the first and best way to prevent influenza.
Infected individuals should stay home until signs and symptoms have resolved and they have not had a fever for at least 24 hours. The 24-hour no-fever timeline should be achieved naturally, without the aid of fever reducing medications.
Dr. Alan Ashare, Chair of the USA Hockey Safety and Protective Equipment Committee recommends that players already infected should see their family doctor sooner rather than later. He also recommends covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
Dr. Michael Stuart, Chief Medical Officer of USA Hockey, shares his recommendations.