Zika Virus Affected Detroit Tigers Closer Francisco Rodriguez During the Offseason
Detroit Tigers pitcher Francisco Rodriguez is publicly sharing details of his bout with the Zika virus.
ESPN reports Rodriguez was laid up for at least 14-days with severe bodyaches, joint pain, headaches and countless other symptoms. It's an experience that he wouldn't wish or anyone, but one he feels makes him uniquely qualified to advise the many athletes slated to travel abroad later this summer for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Rodriguez Thinks Olympic Athletes Right to be Careful
A native of Venezuela, Rodriguez advised all athletes to "do your homework" before heading to Rio with their families. As varied as Rodriguez's symptoms were and as bad as he recalls feeling during his illness, experts warn the effects of the illness can be even more devastating for women, especially pregnant women.
The World Health Organization officially declared Zika "a public-health emergency of international concern." The mosquito transmitted disease can cause microcephaly in infants as well as other developmental related ailments.
Authorities Insist Moving The Games Wouldn't Make Much Difference
Still, authorities recently concluded changing the location of the Olympic games will not do much to change the possibility of the disease being spreaded.
As for his own ordeal, Rodriguez insists after being stricken with the disease during the off-season it took him two months to feel to feel like himself again.
Serena Williams, Pau Gasol and Adam Scott are among the growing number of scheduled Olympians starting to express their concern.
"I wouldn't blame them," Rodriguez said. "If they have plans to have kids in the future, you've got to think about it. You have to be aware of that as well. You have to do some homework, some research about it."
Rodriguez spends his off-season in his native Venezuela and when he first started to feel ill remembers thinking he just had a cold.
"It wasn't a cold, trust me," he said. "It wasn't a cold. A cold, you have a sneeze, have a headache, take a couple Tylenol and you're done. You don't have a cold for two weeks, you don't have a bodyache for two weeks, you don't have headaches, throwing up, weaknesses for two weeks."
One of just six players to record 400 career saves, Rodriguez recalls feeling up all the way up through some of spring training.
Still, he admits he knows he's one of the lucky ones in the way he's been able to fully recover, particularly given the overall dire state of the economy and the health care industry in his homeland.
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