Major League Baseball leans toward canceling a series scheduled for Puerto Rico over fears of the Zika virus, according to several reports.
A series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins has been scheduledfor San Juan on May 30-31, but insiders say there is a lot of concern over the virus sweeping the more tropical climes, sparking some to advocate for a cancellation.
Recently ESPN noted that several members of the Miami Marlins have expressed their concerns about the dangerous virus.
The Marlins sat through a presentation on the virus given by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the results unsettled many.
Further the CDC has issued an alert for travel to areas where Zika is spreading. The travel warning is especially prominent for travelers who are pregnant or considering pregnancy.
“The information was more shocking to both sides,” Marlins player representative Tom Koehler said. “Maybe shocking isn’t the correct word, but there was a lot more information and data and numbers thrown our way that we didn’t have.”
Koehler went on to say there has been a request that the games be moved to Miami and the team is expecting a decision soon.
There is also speculation that if MLB moves the games, it may set a precedent perhaps impinging on the coming Summer Olympics in Brazil this year.
According to the CDC, the Zika virus is very rare in the U.S., but some sources say the mosquitoes that spread the disease will become more common in the U.S. in the near future.
In most cases, there are no symptoms after contracting the virus. In a few cases, Zika can trigger paralysis (Guillain-Barré Syndrome) and in pregnant women, it may cause birth defects. Usually it does not result in death.
When present, symptoms are mild and last less than a week. They include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes.
There’s no vaccine or specific treatment for Zika. Instead, the focus is on relieving symptoms and treatment includes rest, rehydration, and acetaminophen for fever and pain. Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen should be avoided.
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