Eight student-athletes from Texas Woman's University were hospitalized over the weekend for a medical condition called rhabdomyolysis.
Both the TWU Police Department and the Denton Police Department said they are not currently looking into this case. But a university spokeswoman said TWU is conducting an investigation and promises to take appropriate action if necessary.
The students were all part of the school's volleyball team. One of the eight students was released on Tuesday. The other students are improving, a school spokesperson said.
Doctor An Nguyen is an emergency room physician at Texas Health Presbyterian in Denton. Nguyen says rhabdo is quite common in people who exercise a lot or play sports.
“The breakdown is mainly due to damage muscle tissues,” explained Nguyen. “And it's typically due to excessive strenuous activities.”
The Denton County Health Department is closely monitoring the women who were admitted over the weekend. Chief Epidemiologist Juan Rodriguez says his team is looking into possible causes for the cluster of rhabdo cases.
Rodriguez says things the athletes may have consumed or places they've been together are all key components into trying to determine exactly what happened.
“Our job to do is to make sure there isn't a public health concern,” he explained. “Right now it's early in the investigation, but we don't think there's any concern for the general public."
When asked specifically if there would be an investigation into the actions of any coaches or players, the spokeswoman referred FOX 4 to a statement that read in part "the university is assessing the situation and will take appropriate actions as necessary."
In the latest statement issued by the Vice President of Student Life Monica Mendez-Grant says in part:
"Although you may be hearing widespread speculation on what may have caused this situation to occur, the university is conducting a thorough investigation with the TWU Athletics Department and the Denton County Health Department."
One of volleyball players, Jade Akins, is local. FOX 4 stopped by her Denton home to see how she was doing. A man who did not identify himself answered the door but didn't have much to say.
Doctor Nguyen says dehydration is a common contributor to rhabdo, and symptoms can include muscle cramping, dark urine, nausea and vomiting.
“They cannot move their extremities as well as they anticipate,” Nguyen explained. “In other words, it's a lot more than muscle soreness.”
Doctor Nguyen says the prognosis is good, adding that rhabdo can be successfully treated with IV fluids.
A school spokeswoman said none of the athletes suffered life-threatening symptoms. There is no telling when the remaining seven students could go home.