[artist id="832"]The Backstreet Boys[/artist] were forced to cancel a planned meet-and-greet in New York on Monday (October 5) after member Brian Littrell was diagnosed with swine flu. According to a statement released by the group's spokesperson, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough and AJ McLean, as well as the band's traveling entourage, have all met with a doctor and are not currently showing any symptoms of the highly contagious flu, known as H1N1.
As a preventative measure, the doctor prescribed the drug Tamiflu to the group and their touring party, all of whom just returned from Tokyo. As a result of the diagnosis, the BSB have also been forced to cancel a planned performance for Tuesday on CBS' "Early Show." They were scheduled to perform their new single, "Straight Through My Heart," from their This Is Us album, due Tuesday. An intimate fan-appreciation performance at PC Richard & Son Theater in New York scheduled for Tuesday night has also been postponed.
It was unclear at press time how Littrell's diagnosis would impact the rest of the band's promotional schedule for this week. In 1998, Littrell, 34, underwent open-heart surgery to correct a lifelong heart murmur.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, H1N1 is a highly contagious seasonal variation of the flu spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing or by touching a surface someone with the virus has come into contact with and then touching the mouth or nose. Symptoms of the disease include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. While most people who contract the flu will suffer the symptoms and recover with no lasting effects, the virus has the potential to be lethal for people over 65 and children under the age of 5, as well as pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, including heart disease.
Littrell is not the first pop singer to fall victim to H1N1. Among those who've reportedly contracted it are Kasabian singer Tom Meighan, Tulisa Contostavlos of the British band N-Dubz and singer/songwriter Jens Lekman. E! Online reported Monday that production on the show "Bones" had been shut down due to an H1N1 scare.