Two Royals players have been infected with chickenpox and have been quarantined, and the team is monitoring other potentially at-risk players. It’s sort of funny—it’s the last thing you’d expect a ballplayer to miss extended time for—but it can seriously affect adults, and with the playoffs a month away, the Royals are hoping for the best.
The Royals believe outfielder Alex Rios was the first to be infected, being scratched (get it) from the lineup on Saturday with symptoms and being sent home by private plane. The next day, all-star reliever Kelvin Herrera started to show symptoms and was similarly flown back to Kansas City. The two could miss two weeks or more, depending on complications unique to contracting the disease as a grown-up:
“A child might have a couple hundred lesions,” Harpaz said. “An adult might have over 500. The likelihood that they’ll end up getting pneumonia is much higher. That’s pretty rare in children. So there’s a number of complications that are more common in adults than in children.”
Neither player had been infected as a child, and though vaccinations are common in the U.S., both hail from Latin America, where vaccination remains irregular. Yahoo reports that one MLB team innoculates its young Latin players in spring training.
If Rios or Herrera infected any of their teammates, the Royals may not know for a while: symptoms begin to appear between seven and 21 days after exposure. That could sideline players into October, and there’s little the Royals can do about it now other than be watchful.
Yordano Ventura’s fine, though: