Via the Kansas City Star: Kelvin Herrera, Alex Rios infected as chickenpox hits Royals’ clubhouse. Excerpt:
As he pondered how to handle a health crisis facing his baseball team, manager Ned Yost reached out this last weekend to his mother. Several Royals also contacted their families, all asking some version of a question they had not pondered since childhood: Mom, did I ever have the chickenpox?
The answer became imperative, at the behest of the Kansas City medical staff, as the team dealt with an outbreak as they completed a series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Outfielder Alex Rios and All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera both have been infected with the virus and could miss at least two weeks of action, as The Star first reported on Tuesday.
An examination on Monday of both players confirmed the diagnosis. Each man has been quarantined at his home in the area. The team spent the weekend conducting “damage control,” in the words of trainer Nick Kenney, making sure the rest of their players and staffers are inoculated against the virus.
“We’re on alert,” Kenney said. “We’ve got our guys knowing that they’ve got to pay attention to what they’re seeing. And if you do see anything, we need to see it and we need to inspect it.”
The Royals believe the infections are limited to Herrera and Rios. The most at-risk players are those from countries in Latin America, where the chances of childhood inoculation are lower, experts say. Though the scenario sounds more amusing than worrisome — a World Series contender stricken by a children’s illness — the reality is far more insidious, given the severity of the virus when adults catch it.
Even in the hothouse of a big-league clubhouse, where players mingle in close quarters for upwards of nine months, the situation is unusual. Members of the Kansas City front office and big-league staff greeted the news with incredulity. General manager Dayton Moore told Kenney he had never seen anything like this in two decades as a baseball executive; Kenney responded he had never seen it in his two decades as an athletic trainer.
The story goes on to explain that chickenpox in adults is much more serious than it is in children, and can lead to pneumonia.