19 Oregon HS football players stricken with “very weird” muscle illness

19 members of a high school football team in northwest Oregon were taken ill by a condition a doctor treating them described as “very weird,” and ten remain hospitalized due to the strange outbreak of “compartment syndrome.”

Although the illness is associated with high levels of creatine in the body, doctors and coaches for the boys deny use of supplements contributed to the outbreak. Three of the 19 boys required surgery for compartment syndrome, when muscle tissue swells to the point where it begins to deteriorate and toxins enter the bloodstream. The balance of the players were given IV fluids to “flush out” their bloodstreams.

Although the incident has drawn widespread attention, public health officials are no closer to identifying a cause for the rare disease in nearly all of the football team players:

“The school district and medical center are doing everything they can to pinpoint a causative factor and right now we don’t have a cause,” Willamette Valley Medical Center CEO Rosemari Davis said.

One theory is that the multiple illnesses were due to the lengthy training days and high temperatures (up to 115 degrees) the boys practiced in at a football “immersion camp.”