NFL says league players have not had any recent cases of mumps

By Bill Bradley, contributing editor

The NHL has seen an unusual outbreak of mumps during the first three months of the season. The issue hit an apex Saturday when reigning MVP Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins became the 14th player to be officially diagnosed with the disease.

The NFL, a similar full-contact sport with the largest rosters in professional sports where players spend days together in close quarters, has yet to be hit by the disease, according to the league.

In response to questions for a story by ESPN last week, the NFL said:

According to the Centers for Disease Control, mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus.

USA Today Sports delved into the subject Monday, focusing on Crosby, who already has missed three games with the disease. He already had been vaccinated for the disease, including booster shots for playing overseas in the past two Winter Olympics.

The CDC said those vaccinations work for about 88 percent of the population.

The NFL's biggest locker room issues have been fighting MRSA-related skin and bone infections. The league has been aggressive about cleansing its facilities and prevent spread of the disease, which isn't always easy for a 53-man roster.

Gregory Wallace of the CDC explained for USA Today some of the particulars about mumps.

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