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An infectious disease doctor’s take on the Zika-induced cancellation of the Puerto Rico series

Brazil Zika War on Mosquito

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Even before the Zika virus reached crisis levels early this year, Brazil had trouble maintaining routine eradication efforts. An Associated Press investigation found that cities and states in Brazil’s northeast ran out of larvicide for several months last year. The Aedes aegypti mosquito are a vector for the spread of Zika virus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

AP

Dr. Paul Sax has been reading my baseball stuff forever. Like, from way, way, way back. That doesn’t say a lot for him -- even I can’t stand my baseball stuff for extended periods an I wonder how he gets the stamina -- but the fact that he’s the director of an infectious disease program and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School makes up for that. Those are OK credentials. I guess.

His baseball fandom and his professional expertise come in super handy today, as he writes about Major League Baseball’s decision to cancel the Pirates-Marlins series in Puerto Rico due to Zika concerns. The biggest takeaway, other than the content itself, is that if the director of an infectious disease program and a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School says that he can see both sides of the cancellation -- and that’s the upshot -- anyone who claims that MLB either made the absolutely correct decision or engaged in an act of “touristic terrorism” is out to lunch. There’s just too much that is unknown.

Erring on the side of caution is probably sensible. Erring on the other side of it would’ve had some admirable things going for it too. But it doesn’t change the fact that either position was some sort of erring or another.