Arsenal have banned their players from shaking hands as they attempt to control a virus sweeping their training ground.
Manager Arsene Wenger has lost first-teamers Per Mertesacker, Thomas Vermaelen, Francis Coquelin and Theo Walcott and several staff members to illness.
And he has scrapped the club's rule of shaking hands before training each morning - a common ritual in French workplaces - telling the players to touch elbows instead.
The players have have been ordered not to staff members or visitors' hands, while the dressing rooms are being cleaned with an alcohol-based fluid as Wenger looks to stop the bug spreading.
Wenger said: "We have improved the level of hygiene in the dressing room. We clean everything.
"It is funny, but shaking hands is one of the biggest thing to spread virus."
He also joked that the virus might lead to more players snubbing each other in the Premier League's pre-match handshakes.
"It is a good excuse not to shake hands before the game," he said. "If you shake hands the viruses go around the league."
The Frenchman is not the first sports coach to outlaw handshakes.
Britain's Olympic cyclists were told to avoid physical contact with members of the public in a bid to ensure their health at London 2012.
The tactic appeared to work, as Team GB scooped eight cycling gold medals.
- Sports & Recreation
- Public Health
- Francis Coquelin