No one is immune to the current swine flu pandemic, not even professional sumo.

Global health concerns have already hit amateur sumo in the past. A World Championship in the 1990s was cancelled due to the then SARS-related travel issues that swept Asia, and this year, the 2009 (amateur) Sumo World Championships in Egypt were called off due to the swine flu concerns.

In the pro ranks, during the annual summer tour around Hokkaido and northern Honshu, a number of sekitori-ranked rikishi caught the disease and larger numbers of non-salaried rikishi in the makushita ranks and below have also fallen sick.