With a two game series against the Miami Marlins coming up in Puerto Rico, the Pittsburgh Pirates have more than just winning baseball games to worry about.
There has been a recent outbreak of a disease known as the Zika virus on the island of Puerto Rico. The Pirates have contacted the Center for Disease Control, and are concerned about heading to San Juan during the outbreak.
As of last week, the CDC has confirmed 683 cases of the virus in Puerto Rico alone. The currently incurable virus has already taken a life in Puerto Rico, as a 70-year-old man died due to the effects of the Zika virus back in February.
While canceling the series for Puerto Rico is the last thing the teams want to do, the well-being of the players and staff are paramount.
“The health and safety of our players and staff is our No. 1 priority,” Pirates’ VP of communications Brian Wareck said to Yahoo! Sports. “We are working closely with all parties, including MLB, MLBPA and the CDC, to ensure we are fully educated on the issue.”
As of now, the Pirates and Marlins are still scheduled to play in San Juan, May 30-31.
The Zika virus is largely spread by mosquito bites, but can also be spread through sexual activity. Symptoms may include joint pain, conjunctivitis, rash and fever, but the most concerning of all is the risk of birth defects in pregnant women.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports