MLB’s Francisco Rodriguez: “I Had the Zika Virus”

In a recent interview with ESPN, Detroit Tigers pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, who experienced the Zika virus firsthand, said he would advice any athletes traveling to the 2016 Rio Olympics to  “Do your homework.”

Rodriguez,  34, who spends his off-season back home in Venezuela, contracted the virus this past year. He told ESPN that he was laid up for two weeks with severe body aches, joint pain, headaches as well as a myriad of other symptoms. Rodriguez said it took over two months before he finally felt like himself again.

Members of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team have expressed concern about the Zika virus and Irish golfer Rory McIlroy told the BBC there is a chance he may skip the Games. Even American tennis star Serena Williams has her concerns.

“I wouldn’t blame them,” Rodriguez told of any athletes having second thoughts about competing. “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 had blood work done to confirm the diagnosis of Zika. He said, that although some of the symptoms resemble having a cold, having Zika is much more that that:

“It wasn’t a cold, trust me. 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.”

What is zika virus? What do I need to know?



Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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