Undisclosed illness hits Brillion football players (print preview)

September 22, 2016

The Brillion News

Confirmed cases in Reedsville’s football team in August 

BRILLION – Several Brillion High School football players were held out of last Friday’s game.

One person anonymously called The Brillion News and said the players contracted a contagious viral disease known as Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).

Brillion High School Principal Pete Kittel confirmed that players were held out of the game due to an undisclosed illness.

“We had four players that did not play Friday due to illness. Obviously as you know we can not share with you health information of individual students or speculate on what caused them to become ill or where it came from,” Kittel said. “We always monitor our student’s health and confer with our local health authorities if we see a pattern and get their insight on how to proceed.”

Brillion Superintendent Dominick Madison said there was no confirmed source for the illness and that no BHS players were diagnosed by a physician. Madison said that players are often held out of practices and games for a variety of reasons, including something as simple as a fever. Madison also noted that there were HFMD cases last summer in the area.

The woman providing the information was worried about the disease spreading beyond the infected individuals, raising legitimate public health concerns.

She said players in the BHS football program were affected, and was concerned that the disease surfaced after the team played Roncalli High School on September 9, when the Manitowoc private school played in Brillion.

John Stelzer, President of Roncalli High School, said that HFMD is one of the many viruses that the school warns parents about this time of year. HFMD is most commonly found in younger ages. Stelzer also said he was unable to add any specifics, citing the HIPAA law.

“We would not play a diagnosed student that is at risk or put others at risk,” Stelzer said.

On Monday, the same day that The Brillion News first reported the story online, the Brillion School District sent home a letter to parents going over common sense practices to stay healthy including: avoiding close contact, staying home when you are sick, covering your mouth and nose, cleaning your hands, avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth and practicing other good health habits.

Please see the complete story in the September 22, 2016 edition of The Brillion News that features comments from Manitowoc and Calumet County health officials and notes on prior cases that were found in Reedsville in August. 

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