Former Chelsea doctor Eva Carneiro explains why football players susceptible to virus

Former Chelsea doctor Dr. Eva Carneiro said footballers are susceptible to a pandemic disease such as coronavirus due to rigorous physical activities and frequent travellings.

Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi became the first confirmed case of coronavirus among Premier League players on Friday.

This, along with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta’s positive test for the virus, led to professional football matches suspension including in the Premier League.

Dr Carneiro told the Daily Mail: “Professional players have been shown to be regularly immunosuppressed.

“This has been demonstrated by both blood tests and the rate and incidence of the upper respiratory tract and other infections, which is how a virus like this starts. That’s due to the amount of sport they play in.


“The physical activity, playing at a professional level, with games sometimes every 72 hours, as well as training creates a strain on the body.

(Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images)

She then explained how overseas travellings amplify the risk, saying: “It means they have to enter an airport even though they might be travelling by private jet.

“Travel can also mean a change in sleep patterns, arriving back in the early hours of the morning, creating fatigue which again can make players susceptible.”

Carneiro who spent six years as a member of Chelsea medical team is now Sports and Exercise Medicine Doctor at The Sports Medical Group in London’s Harley Street.

On Friday, Chelsea announced most of the men’s team personnel including the players and the coaching staff have undergone a period of self-isolation.

A Chelsea fan who loves football statistics. Studied sports journalism at the University of Sunderland.