iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) — A Detroit baseball player said the Zika virus left him sick for weeks and warns others to reconsider going to areas with ongoing transmission, including the Olympic Games in Rio De Janiero.
Francisco Rodriguez, 34, a pitcher for the Detroit Tigers, told ESPN that he contracted the virus in the off-season, when he was in Venezuela.
“It wasn’t a cold, trust me,” he told ESPN. “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.”
Rodriguez said later blood tests seemed to confirm he likely had Zika virus when he was ill. The player is now warning other athletes to think twice before traveling to an area with ongoing Zika infection.
“I wouldn’t blame them,” Rodriguez told ESPN.com. “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.”
The Detroit Tigers declined to make Rodriguez available to ABC News for further comment.
Common symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of these symptoms don’t last more than one week.
Approximately one in five people infected with the virus show symptoms. Severe complications from the virus that require hospitalization are rare and most people are over the worst of the symptoms after a week, according to the CDC. The virus has also been found to cause microcephaly, a birth defect that is characterized by a malformed or smaller head and brain and can result in serious developmental delays.
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