Just as the [artist id="832"]Backstreet Boys[/artist] were preparing to promote their latest album, This Is Us, word came that member Brian Littrell had been diagnosed with swine flu, prompting the band to cancel several upcoming promotional appearances. On the roster was a performance of their single "Straight Through My Heart" on CBS' "Early Show" on Tuesday (October 6).
In a video posted Monday on YouTube, a sniffling and visibly ill Littrell apologized to his fans for missing upcoming scheduled appearances, which included a Pinktober charity event supporting breast cancer awareness at the Hard Rock Café in Times Square.
"First off, I want to say that I'm really sorry to all of our Backstreet Boys fans, as well as I'm sorry to the Hard Rock Café and the staff there. The Backstreet Boys had a great event set up this afternoon (October 5), an autograph signing at the Hard Rock, where we were going to get the chance to mingle with some of our fans as well as raise money for breast cancer awareness," he said. "Unfortunately I was diagnosed with the swine flu yesterday, and my job right now is to stay away from as many people as I can."
He also addressed the fact that his bandmates are currently healthy but are still undergoing preventative swine flu treatments: "On another note, the guys have been looked at by a doctor, and they're also on preventative medicine that will help them not show any signs nor get the swine flu, I hope.
"I want to apologize again and say that I'm sorry I couldn't make it. You guys got to know what's going on. ... I hope that the next time you see me, I will feel better, but for right now, for the next three or four days, I've got to be out of the loop. Thank you for your understanding. I'm sorry that I couldn't be there, but my job right now is to try and protect you guys from this. I hope you guys are well and I will talk to you very soon. God bless."
In 1998, Littrell, 34, underwent open heart surgery to correct a lifelong heart murmur. A spokesperson for Littrell told MTV News that his doctors are aware of his previous heart condition and heart surgery and are monitoring that as they treat him.