No meningitis: Australian Open to feature players without vaccinations

Written by Staff Writer, CNN The decision to allow unvaccinated players to compete at next month’s Australian Open is set to spark controversy in tennis circles. It comes after tournament organizers and tournament officials…

No meningitis: Australian Open to feature players without vaccinations

Written by Staff Writer, CNN

The decision to allow unvaccinated players to compete at next month’s Australian Open is set to spark controversy in tennis circles.

It comes after tournament organizers and tournament officials decided not to take precautions to protect competitors from the deadly meningitis – according to the Australian Daily Telegraph

The decision comes after the Australian Open announced several weekend tournaments were cancelled due to a virus outbreak.

The Australian Open will go ahead as scheduled at Melbourne Park in Melbourne, Australia

The tournament’s organiser, Tennis Australia, said it expected only a handful of players to miss the tournament and dismissed the idea that it could hurt the quality of the event.

Australian Open player due to miss event, citing ‘meningitis’

“Tournament doctors and our medical team are strongly recommending that players do not travel due to meningitis, which has been reported across a range of events,” a statement from tournament officials said.

“It is very important to note that there is no known connection between the meningitis in several events and the meningitis that was contracted earlier this month in Auckland and not fatal.”

Should a player fall ill with a known illness before the tournament, the board will “make a decision to cancel the event,” they added.

Michael Joyce, chief executive of Tennis Australia, said he didn’t expect anything similar to occur.

“As you are aware, we have brought in a number of medical programs and we were prepared for this event that was going to happen.”

A team of medical personnel will be at every match on site to provide advice to players and officials and the event will maintain a strict playing schedule, he added.

10-day quarantine would be mandatory

The changes come after last month’s Auckland International Tournament was canceled after two players contracted meningitis and needed hospital treatment, Singapore’s Newsday reported.

The disease can lead to swelling of membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms include high fever, headache, nausea, confusion, a rash and stiff neck.

There is no known cure for meningitis and about 1,000 cases are diagnosed each year in Australia, according to the National Library of Medicine.

There is no known cure for meningitis and about 1,000 cases are diagnosed each year in Australia, according to the National Library of Medicine.

Singapore-based global tennis champion Quinton de Kock was confirmed as the second player to fall ill. He is due to miss next week’s Brisbane International tournament while he recuperates from meningitis.

“Canceling Brisbane International was a tough decision but I believe it is the right thing to do to protect my life and health. I have been doing everything I can to recuperate from the illness,” de Kock said in a statement released by the tournament organizers.

“It’s difficult to explain to my family how much my tennis career has been affected, but I am so excited to be able to fully concentrate on my recovery and look ahead to this season and next.”

In December, De Kock dropped out of his title defense at the ATP Finals in London and subsequently received treatment for a high fever.

Serena Williams posts message about meningitis

Serena Williams, who first became infected with the infection at the US Open in September, opened up about her fight with the disease in her latest autobiography, “Serena.”

The American tennis star said she only learned of her disease after being put on bed rest because of complications from surgery.

She has been off court since winning the Australian Open in January and is expected to return to the tour this year, her media representative said earlier this month.

“I am feeling better,” Williams said. “Sometimes, if things don’t feel right, then you think you’re a little sick or something, but once I got that MRI I knew, ‘Oh, this is something that needs to be addressed’.

“I just want to be better.”

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