New Zealand’s women’s rugby sevens team have delayed their arrival at the Commonwealth Games until after the opening ceremony after a player fell ill with mumps, officials said on Tuesday.
The Olympic silver-medallists will remain at their training camp until Sunday, a delay of four days, after forward Ruby Tui was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease, a statement said.
Tui, 26, has been placed in quarantine and the other players will be under observation by medical staff at their camp on Australia’s Sunshine Coast.
An outbreak of mumps could damage New Zealand’s hopes as they seek revenge over hosts Australia for their defeat in the 2016 Rio Olympics final.
New Zealand’s All Blacks were also hit by mumps during their northern hemisphere tour in November, when Luke Romano, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane and Ardie Savea were all laid low.
Mumps is a viral infection often associated with childhood, when it usually passes with little more than discomfort, Britain’s National Health Service says on its website.
However, it can occasionally lead to complications, including viral meningitis and – very rarely – the potentially fatal encephalitis.
Women’s sevens is making its debut at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast, which has an equal number of men’s and women’s medal events for the first time in tournament history.