Royals are facing a chickenpox epidemic nearing post-season

Owning the second-best record in the majors as of Wednesday afternoon – and claiming territory with one of sports’ most dynamic fan bases – two players on the Kansas City Royals have fallen ill to a common medical condition in children, chickenpox.

Relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera and outfielder Alex Rios broke out in their respective infections and are required to abstain from any team activities in fear of spreading the contagious sickness to other teammates. In fact, chickenpox is considered more of a threat in adults since the risks of pneumonia are higher.

The Royals have a very serious and scary Chickenpox problem. http://t.co/pIAzdhmmpT pic.twitter.com/mpFxlVC9uJ

— SB Nation (@SBNation) September 2, 2015

According to the Kansas City Star:

“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.”

Royals General Manager Dayton Moore on the situation:

“My initial reaction was ‘It’s 2015.’ I was surprised that we’d be having the chickenpox. I’m sure it’s more common than I’m aware of as far as adults getting chickenpox. But it was more frustration than anything else.”

With the diagnosis confirmed by medical staff, both Rios and Herrera are likely out for the next few weeks until the possibility of spreading goes down.

The number of chickenpox patient cases has been relieved significantly since the 1990s, where four million children were affected, because the lack of a vaccination. But in today’s society, only about 20,000 to 250,000 chickenpox reports are made per year.

By the Numbers – 2015 K.C. Royals

Kelvin Herrera

4-2, 59.1 IP, 2.12 ERA, 53 K

Alex Rios

320 PA, 76 H, 2 HR, 22 RBI, .253 BA

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports