K-Rod fought Zika virus during offseason

Reliever cautions athletes to educate themselves before Olympics in Brazil

K-Rod fought Zika virus during offseason

Tigers reliever Francisco Rodriguez told ESPN.com on Tuesday that he contracted the Zika virus this past offseason and had serious side effects from the illness.

Bed ridden for more than two weeks, the Caracas, Venezuela, native dealt with severe body aches, joint pain, headaches and a slew of other symptoms.

With the 2016 Olympics set to take place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, later this summer, Rodriguez cautioned many athletes and suggested that they educate themselves on the virus.

The World Health Organization has classified Zika, a mosquito-transmitted illness that can cause microcephaly in infants as well as other developmental issues, as a "Public Health Emergency of International Concern." However, the WHO recently ruled that canceling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics would not significantly alter the international spread of Zika.

Major League Baseball canceled a series between the Pirates and the Marlins in San Juan, Puerto Rico, that was originally scheduled to be played this week due to concerns over the virus. The series was instead shifted to Miami.

"I wouldn't blame them," Rodriguez told ESPN.com of any athletes having second thoughts about competing in the Olympics. "If they have plans to have kids in the future, you've got to think about it. You have to be aware of that as well. You have to do some homework, some research about it."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.