Introduction. Acute respiratory diseases (ARD) are widespread infections among athletes which lead to serious defeats in sports.
The objective of the study was to investigate ARD in athletes, to identify the risk factors, and propose appropriate preventive measures.
Material and methods. The study involved 189 students from the National Sports Academy (NSA) “V. Levski” Sofia, Bulgaria, who were interviewed by the method of direct standardized interview and through the NSA distance learning platform.
Results. There was a statistically significant deterioration in the results achieved by elite athletes who had ARD, compared to other athletes. In 48.0% of cases, ARD had an impact on their performance in major competitions. In team sports and indoor sports, there was a higher risk of infection and spread of ARD.
Conclusions. Еnhanced prevention and control measures and provision of immunizations with influenza vaccines are needed, especially for elite athletes and their teams.
Keywords: athletes, acute respiratory diseases, prevention.
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Department of Physiology and Biochemistry
National Sports Academy, Sofia, Bulgaria
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