UCLA’s Marcus Rios diagnosed with ultra-rare, deadly fungal infection

UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora looks on during the second quarter against the Baylor Bears in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

UCLA Bruins head coach Jim Mora will most likely be without one of his starting cornerbacks as Marcus Rios deals with a rare and deadly fungal infection. (Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports)

What began as a simple sinus infection has turned into an extremely rare, deadly fungal infection that will most likely force UCLA defensive back Marcus Rios to miss the entirety of the 2013 season, according to The LA Times.

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Rios was listed as a first-team cornerback on the Bruins’ depth chart as he prepared for his sophomore season on campus. However, he has already undergone six surgeries to try to stop the infection and is going to need at least one more in the next two weeks.

“It started as a sinus infection last October,” Rios said. “Then they found the fungus infection behind my eye and beneath my brain.”

Rios said that “it’s very rare. Only 12 people have ever had it and eight of them have died. Two others recovered and then died later.”

Rios spent much of the off-season in and out of hospitals. He is currently taking antibiotics through a peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC, line in his arm.

Rios, who played at Elk Grove Oaks High, entered spring practice on top of the depth chart at one cornerback spot.

“I can’t do any running because of the PICC line,” Rios said. “Now they need me to do another surgery.

Coach Jim Mora said Rios “will be out six months.” Rios said, “I’m probably out for the season.”

Rios’ situation is not one that anybody would wish upon a teenager. Instead of enjoying his college years and his time as an elite Division I athlete, Rios is instead fearful for his life.

Everyone here at Gamedayr is hoping for a swift and full recovery for Rios.

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  • Joe

    I am be sending my best wishes that this nightmare will end and Marcus will get well soon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/daniel.stillmunks Daniel Stillmunks

    God bless that young man. Hopefully he can fully recover and play some FOOTBALL!! yEH.

  • Roberto

    Good luck, man. Seriously.

  • Norm

    I hope that everything turns out ok. I’m currently fighting a MRSA blood infection that has attacked my pacemaker leads, and I too have IV antibiotics administered daily in my local hospital thru a picc line. So, get well young man! I’m pulling for you! And with Gods help you will win your fight. God bless you!