Royals’ Escobar a likely cause of chickenpox outbreak 

PicturePhotos courtesy of Royals.MLB.ComThis past weekend, while facing the Rays in an away series in Tampa Bay, Royals outfielder Alex Rios and relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera became ill. Rios was the first to show symptoms followed by Herrera the next day. Both players were forced to leave the series early and charter separate flights back to Kansas City to recover.  At the time, both were unaware that they had been infected with chickenpox until the Royals medical staff confirmed it on Monday. Team doctors immediately quarantined Rios and Herrera at their homes and expect them to be out for at least two weeks.

Since the confirmation, the Royals are taking every precaution to eliminate the threat by inoculating their players and staff.. The team hopes Herrera and Rios are the only two players who will be affected by the virus but will have to wait and see. Symptoms of chickenpox can take over a week to show.

So how does Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar fit into this unusual story? Manager Ned Yost said that Alcides Escobar had just gotten the chickenpox vaccination 10 days prior to Rios becoming infected. Escobar had recently been granted U.S. citizenship and a requirement was to be vaccinated. PictureSports radio hosts Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison of 610 Sports in Kansas City were the first to investigate the possibility that Alcides Escobar was the cause for the chickenpox outbreak in the Royals clubhouse.

Parkins quoted an article from the Mayo Clinic that confirms the possibility that someone who is recently vaccinated can infect those who have not been inoculated:

“You or your child may be able to pass the virus to other people after getting this vaccine. You or your child should close contact with people at high risk for getting chickenpox for 6 weeks after receiving this vaccine.”

Unless the Kansas City Royals medical staff reveals Escobar as the cause of the chickenpox outbreak, it will probably remain a mystery, but the likelihood of this being just a coincidence seems to be unlikely, but is possible.

Known Royals players who are still susceptible to catching chickenpox are 
Yordano Ventura and Omar Infante. Johnny Cueto, Kendrys Morales and Franklin Morales are unknowns at this point. All Royals not mentioned above are in the clear.
Listen: Podcast of the sports talk radio show discussing the unusual chickenpox development on Tuesday. [44:56]

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