Quotes: Texans' Dr. Muntz on swine flu

Texans team internist Dr. James Muntz addressed the media on Monday about rookie tight end Anthony Hill's case of swine flu and the health of other players on the team.

Dr. James Muntz
(on how many confirmed cases of swine flu the Texans have) "That's an excellent question but—we have one guy with a confirmed swine flu case, (TE) Anthony Hill. It's been in the media, it's been in the paper. I'm not prepared to say if anybody has been tested, will be tested, or has the swine flu. What we would do, as a physician, is if, and we do have a case of the swine flu, if other players, other patients have similar symptoms: upper repertory symptoms, colds, fever, extreme body aches, then we treat them as if they have a flu. I don't need a culture; I don't need a result back. If I was to see a player or if you came in as a patient and I saw you on Friday, I may not get test results back till Sunday, Monday, sometimes the tests don't even help. So we treat patients—I see 30 people a day, some of them have upper repertory infections, some of them have the flu, some may have the swine flu. It's up to me as a physician to use clinical judgment and treat these people. So I'm really not prepared to say if other people are tested or if they have it."

(on FS Eugene Wilson's sickness) "He was seen. I'm not sure he had the same syndrome. He did not have a fever. He was achy and for contagious issues we sent him home, sent him out. He called me last night and he was already better. (TE) Anthony Hill called me this morning, he texted me, he said, 'I feel great, can I come back and practice with the team?' If somebody's 48 hours out from being afebrile we're going to let him return, let him play. So every one of these are case by case situations. But these tests are very sensitive. If we tested everybody in the room in here there may be two or three people that would test positive for swine flu; they may not even be sick. But as a physician I've got to make clinical judgment: look at fevers, temps, and make a decision. If I see somebody today, I don't get their tests back, if I even did the test, until Wednesday or Thursday."

(on treating all cases like the flu without testing for swine flu specifically) "That's correct. He (FS Eugene Wilson) had similar symptoms. We do have a guy with swine flu. We're fairly generous with using Tamiflu which treats both seasonal flu and the swine flu so again in each of these cases we treat them each individually and make a decision on that basis."

(on RB Chris Brown's illness) "He actually had different symptoms. He had more gastro-intestinal type symptoms, treated differently, and I think this was an unrelated illness."

(on how many Texans players have had flu-like symptoms) "I couldn't give you the numbers. There were a number of people before the game yesterday that were sick. A couple of them showed up the morning of the game with new symptoms. And a couple of them had GI symptoms that I do not think were swine flu and did not get treated as such."

(on if LB Xavier Adibi had GI symptoms) "Yes he did. He was dehydrated. I saw him in the office today, he felt much better."

(on if the swine flu is a continuing threat to the team) "The swine flu is the swine flu. It's out there, you can't just say the team. It's the team, the NFL, it's people in the United States. I wouldn't just say, are we worried about the team. This is a community-acquired infection. A number of high schools have had it, other teams have had it or thought they had it so it's not a team issue, it's a health issue world-wide."

(on what he's telling the players to keep it from spreading) "The trainers are great. (Head athletic trainer) Geoff (Kaplan), the coaches, I tell the players wash hands, don't use the same towels, there are signs up about covering mouth, nose if you cough, sneeze. Any of these players that feel badly let the trainers know. They call us, they've got cell phone numbers, they've got the trainers' cell phone numbers. If we think they have the flu the main thing that probably keys me in is fever, achiness, extreme body aches, headache, sore teeth, sore jaw. We jump on these people and treat them fairly quickly with either a prophylactic or treatment as with medications."

(on when FS Eugene Wilson will be able to come back) "He's not febrile. He'll be checked day to day and usually if they're afebrile for 48 hours people come back, I'm not worried about it."

(on what "afebrile" means) "No fever. No fever for 48 hours, we're pretty comfortable with that. We've also talked to infectious disease people in Houston, we've talked to the NFL, they have an NFL physician and we keep them abreast of what's going on."

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