Houston Astros pitcher Brad Peacock has become the latest baseball player to come down with hand-foot-and-mouth disease.
After the team flew to Detroit on Monday for a three-game series, Peacock said his symptoms were getting worse and flew back to Houston on Tuesday, according to the Houston Chronicle.
Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) is a viral disease that can lead to painful lesions forming on the hands, mouth and feet as well as fever and a sore throat.
It usually affects children under age 10, but the immune systems of adults are typically being strong enough to prevent the virus from infecting them.
Peacock is the third pitcher to come down with the disease after the New York Mets’ Noah Syndergaard and the New York Yankees’ JA Happ both spent time on the disabled list following their infections.
According to the Mayo Clinic, HFMD is usually accompanied by a fever that lasts a few days and mild symptoms such as a sore throat, rash and loss of appetite.
It can be passed through the air or by coming into close contact with a person. It’s frequently contracted from someone who hasn’t washed their hands after using the bathroom.
Children build up antibodies to the virus as they get older and the immune systems of adults are typically strong enough to prevent the virus from infecting them.
However, doctors told Daily Mail Online last month they were concerned about a rare spike in rates among adults, not children, this year.
It currently remains unclear how Peacock contracted the virus, but it appears he’ll have to spend time on the disabled list.
It’s unclear how long he’ll remain out of the game but the virus typically passes between seven and 10 days.
Astros manager AJ Hinch told the Chronicle that to make sure the right-handed pitcher didn’t pass the virus on to his teammates, he was kept away from the ballpark on Monday.
After telling the Astros’ medical staff his condition was worsening, Peacock flew home on Tuesday.
‘We deal with similar things like this all the time, maybe not to this extent,’ Hinch told the newspaper.
‘I’m not sure why this has become a thing in Major League Baseball this year. There’s a running joke inside about having to sanitize everything, but I’m not aware of any sort of precautions we’ve taken.’
In July, New York Mets ace pitcher Noah Syndergaard revealed he contracted the virus after visiting a children’s baseball camp.
And last month, New York Yankees starting pitcher JA Happ contracted a ‘mild’ version of the virus although it’s unclear how.
Both men spent 10 days on the disabled list during their respective illnesses and missed one start each.
Last month, doctors reported a spike in cases of HFMD in Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
In a recent interview, Dr Amanda Bohleber, the medical director of Deaconess Health Clinic, in Evansville, Indiana, said that this year they’ve seen more cases in a single month than in any month last year.
‘Last year, the highest number of cases in a single month was 68 in October,’ she told Daily Mail Online.
‘This year, we had 26 in June and that went up to 87 in July. July is the highest number of cases we’ve seen in 18 months and [the highest compared to]any number we’ve seen last year.’
She said while the difference in cases from January to July of this year is not dramatically different from last year, such an early spike is alarming.
HFMD outbreaks most commonly occur at nurseries and schools. However, it can be passed through the air or coming into close contact with a person who hasn’t washed their hands after using the bathroom – meaning adults are susceptible.
Dr Bohleber said the spike she has seen may be due to an increased number of adults who’ve become infected
‘We may be seeing the spike because adults get it and they don’t know what is, they don’t see their friends getting it,’ she said