The Brumbies will be missing several regular players when they take on the Chiefs this weekend. (Brumbies Rugby)
The mumps virus has depleted the Brumbies squad ahead of their Super Rugby clash against the New Zealand Chiefs.
- Several Brumbies players have mumps and did not travel to New Zealand today with the rest of the squad
- Coach Dan McKellar said the virus had “gone through the camp” over the past week
- Most Australians are vaccinated against the disease, which is highly infectious
The Canberra-based team flew out of the capital this morning, though the club did not confirm how many people were affected by the highly infectious disease.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar told media at Canberra Airport this morning that the mumps had “gone through the camp” over the past week.
After consulting health authorities, only players and staff who were completely well were allowed to travel to New Zealand for Saturday’s game.
McKellar did not name the players that were affected.
“We’ve done all that we can to make sure that everyone’s got the all-clear,” he said.
“There’re a couple of boys that are crook but we’ve just got to get on with it.
“It’s just like any other week, really — it’s a virus that we’ve got to get on top of.”
Three players — Darcy Swain, Irae Simone and Bayley Kuenzle — and assistant coach Peter Hewat missed last week’s game.
However, Simone has returned to the starting side and Keunzle has been named on the bench. Hewat also travelled with the side to New Zealand.
Mumps can cause fever, lethargy, headaches and, in rare cases, more severe symptoms. Most Australians are vaccinated against the mumps virus.
Medical guides say the virus is usually spread through the air by coughing or sneezing, and advise patients not to mix with other people while they have symptoms.
People who catch the virus usually take one to two weeks to recover.
Only one case of mumps has been reported in the ACT in the past two years, though it remains common in countries without widespread vaccination programs.