Report: Zika concerns could cause MLB to cancel Puerto Rico series
Major League Baseball is close to canceling plans for a series between the Pirates and Marlins in Puerto Rico due to concerns over the Zika virus, Yahoo! Sports' Jeff Passan reports.
The teams are scheduled to meet in San Juan for a two-game series on May 30 and 31. Passan reports that players on both teams have informed MLB they would prefer to move the series to Miami given health concerns.
The Pirates met with the Center for Disease Control to voice their concerns regarding the Zika virus, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Last week, the CDC noted 683 confirmed Zika infections in Puerto Rico. A 70-year-old man from Puerto Rico died in February after complications due to the Zika virus, which marked the first death related to the infection in a U.S. territory.
In April, 358 cases were reported in the United States.
“The health and safety of our players and staff is our No. 1 priority,” Pirates’ vice president of communications Brian Wareck told Yahoo! Sports. “We are working closely with all parties, including MLB, MLBPA and the CDC, to ensure we are fully educated on the issue.”
The Zika virus has primarily been contracted by mosquito bites but can also be passed along through sexual activity. The symptoms for men include a fever, rash, joint pain and possible conjunctivitis. The biggest concern is for women who have contracted the virus and run the risk of having a baby born with microcephaly, which causes an infant’s head to be smaller than average.
There is no current cure for Zika, according to the World Health Organization.