Detroit Tigers Pitcher Contracted Zika

Francisco Rodriguez said he didn't feel like himself for 2 whole months
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 1, 2016 8:22 AM CDT
Detroit Tigers Pitcher Contracted Zika
Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game on May 23, 2016, in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

When he's not pitching for the Detroit Tigers, Francisco Rodriguez heads home for some R&R in his native Venezuela. But the 34-year-old came back from the last offseason with more than just memories: He contracted the Zika virus, and it wasn't pleasant, ESPN reports. For two entire weeks he was bedridden, suffering from intense body aches, headaches, vomiting, and weakness. "It wasn't a cold, trust me," he says. "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."

Rodriguez had bloodwork taken, and the Zika virus was confirmed. He's better now, but he says it took two months before he felt completely healed, and he's now warning people about attending the Summer Olympics in Rio. "I wouldn't blame them," he says of athletes who may be thinking of bowing out. "If [you] have plans to have kids in the future, you've got to think about it. … You have to do some homework, some research." Meanwhile, the WHO has spurned a call to action by a group of 150 health experts to postpone or relocate the Rio Games, the AP notes. (A baby with a Zika-linked birth defect was recently born in New Jersey.)

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