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Swine flu cancels more sporting events

Alabama officials have shut down all high school athletic events following the discovery of likely cases of swine flu in Huntsville.

"Right now, we are being advised by our Medical Advisory Committee to shut down all activities until further notice," said Steve Savarese, executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. "We hope to be able to resume activities by next Tuesday, but right now we must study the situation and take it one day at a time."

The move means the Alabama state track and field championships, scheduled for May 1-2, will be rescheduled. All other postseason activities scheduled through May 4 in sports including baseball, soccer, softball and golf are postponed until further notice.

"This is not something we want to do," Savarese said. "Right now, we want to be cautious."

On Tuesday, Texas officials postponed all public high school athletic and academic competitions on Wednesday until May 11 because of the swine flu outbreak.

School officials say 53,000 students are out of school due to concern over the virus, and dozens of schools were closed to be sanitized. With 16 confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas, Gov. Rick Perry announced a disaster declaration Wednesday for the entire state.

While the state of Texas has an early hit from the swine flu, baseball's Texas Rangers said they did not have any immediate plans to do anything differently for the team's upcoming home series with the Chicago White Sox. The games will go on as scheduled, the team said.

"We're monitoring the situation and our team physicians are in contact with the local health authorities to also monitor the situation. We will obviously take our cue from them," team spokesman John Blake said. "Aside from that, we're taking the usual precautions. And we obviously have hand sanitizers in a lot of places."

Due to the threat of a swine flu outbreak at the University of Delaware, the Blue Hens softball team canceled its three-game weekend series at Hofstra, while the baseball team canceled its three-game set at UNC-Wilmington.

As a result, Hofstra has clinched the regular-season Colonial Athletic Association softball tournament, as well as the right to host the conference tournament next weekend.

"This is a particularly contagious virus that is easily transmitted by contact," ESPN medical analyst Dr. Michael Kaplan
said. "Any physical contact or inhalation/ingestion can infect another person. While most flu viruses are more virulent or dangerous for the very young and old debilitated individual, this strain seems most devastating to the young healthy adult."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.