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Health officials confirm Rays reliever Joel Peralta contracted mosquito-borne chikungunya virus

Jul 29, 2014, 11:19 AM EDT

Joel Peralta AP

Florida health officials have confirmed that Rays reliever Joel Peralta contracted the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus while in the Dominican Republic during the All-Star break.

Peralta was placed on the disabled list due to an assortment of flu-like (and worse) symptoms, telling the Tampa Tribune: “I just got sick and wasn’t sure why.”

He’s healthy now and off the disabled list, but it may take him a while to get back to full strength after experiencing fatigue, joint pain, and other problems.

Thousands of people in the Dominican Republic have contracted the virus, including several of Braves right-hander Ervin Santana‘s family members, and so far there are 87 reported cases in Florida as well.

  1. tbird05 - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    He seemed to know exactly what was wrong the entire time. That’s crazy…call the CDC. Perhaps we should keep an eye on these sorts of things coming in the country. I wonder how many diseases are coming in that we don’t know about.

    • raysfan1 - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:35 AM

      Monitoring is constant, CDC makes the info public–both in forms for the lay person and for medical professionals.

      • tbird05 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        So they also track people that they don’t know are here?

      • raysfan1 - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        They track the diseases diagnosed within the healthcare system in the US…and world wide through the World Health Organization.

        Speaking from personal experience, you make an unusual diagnosis, you get lots if attention in a hurry. I have worked with/seen them in action–they are quite thorough.

    • bisonaudit - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:15 PM

      The CDC has been on this one. I was seeing national stories before I knew about any ball players getting it.

      Virologists are taking this one very seriously. It’s spread by two different mosquito’s. The one that’s less common in the US is very efficient vector. The Tiger mosquito which is more widespread in the US and more aggressive doesn’t infect people as efficiently, but the right mutation in the virus could change that.

      They’re also concerned about potentially chronic long-term medical issues that may result from contracting the virus.

    • kevinbnyc - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      Yes. Cut off all international travel until all communicable diseases are cured!

      • Shayna - Jul 29, 2014 at 4:20 PM

        And for all you climate change denialists, welcome to the wonderful world of the expanding tropical zone. Plenty of insects that never used to bother us ‘up here’ are going to be plenty bothersome going forward. Had your malaria shots updated?

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