Tennis players must get vaccination for norovirus, officials say

Less than a week after players at the U.S. Open were infected with a virus believed to be caused by norovirus, tennis’ governing bodies have urged them to get a vaccination. Since the tournament finished on Sept. 10, that advice has been reiterated to the entire tournament field. A lack of vaccinations in older players prompted a shake-up in the U.S. Tennis Association’s $35 million ad campaign, which features a number of shots rather than slogans such as “Try It. Love It. Win It.”

The news comes one week after Billie Jean King cautioned players not to get “emotional about getting the vaccine,” suggesting that concerns about the legal implications of not getting vaccinated were overblown. However, other voices have been more vocal in their desire to ensure that players who are susceptible to norovirus — which is more dangerous for adults than young children and generally in most cases can be overcome with an antiviral shot — can properly prepare for the next tournament.

“If you do go into the second round, people will think, ‘Oh, my God, why didn’t you get the vaccine?’” Cate Campbell, who entered the U.S. Open after being infected with norovirus, told reporters on Tuesday. “Who is it that is judging? And I guess that’s our way of giving a answer by having no health guidelines and saying ‘Fine, you can play and be healthy or not.’”

Sam Stosur has said that the need for more awareness about the disease, which is spread easily in eating establishments such as restaurants and hotels, “sort of stinks a little bit” because it encourages “people to think that you can spread it by just touching someone after dining.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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