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Dozens of youth football players, adults become ill

Reported by: John Treanor
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Updated: 11/29/2013 10:03 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV -- At least 40 members of at least nine youth football teams in Las Vegas for national tournament playoffs have become ill with flu-like symptoms, according to the Clark County Fire Department and tournament organizers.

"As of ow there are nine teams reporting illness and three of those teams are from Las Vegas," Justin Gates told News 3 in a phone call from Ormond Beach, Fla. "We first thought it was an illness spread at the team weign-in on Wednesday, but the three Las Vegas teams weighed in on Tuesday. We now think it might just be a flu-like illness spreading in Western states. It's hard to tell becasue many of the teams traveled up to 48 hours on a bus to get to Las Vegas and that could have made it easy to spread the bug."

Gates is the competition director for Sports Network International Inc., the organization running the National Youth Football Championships.

Gates said he knew of nine teams with sick individuals as of 3:30 p.m. Friday. He said they were contacting all teams to get details of how many were sick.

News 3 received an email shortly after 4 p.m. from a Bakersfield, Calif., team staying there and they report an estimated 25 people suffering symptoms, 10 adults and 15 children.

The first calls on the situation began about 10 a.m. when the Clark County Fire Department was called to the Rio All-Suites Hotel & Casino.

"We have 18 people, five adults and the rest children between 7 and 9 years of age, who were transported by Rio shuttles to two area hospitals" CCFD Deputy Chief Fernandez Leary said. "The symptoms are nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

News 3 learned that nobody was taken to Sunrise Hospital but all were taken to UMC.

A supervisor at UMC said 17 patients arrived and 15 were treated and released by early afternoon. Two adult mothers were being treated in UMC's adult emergency room as of 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Leary said the team having players and adults sent to UMC were from Santa Monica, Calif. A parent of one of the players said about 40 Santa Monica Vikings team members or adults were experiencing flu-like symptoms. 

A statement from the Rio released Friday afternoon said, in part, "The Rio is working closely with the CCFD to determine the cause. More details will be released when available."

Games in the National Youth Football Championships are being played Thursday through Saturday at eight locations in Las Vegas. Some of the locations include Fountain Park, Faith Lutheran High School, Mohave High School and Cheyenne High School.


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