Brazil Assures To Calm Zika Worries Prior Olympic Games
South Korea’s Olympic athletes will wear uniforms infused with insect repellent to keep Zika-bearing mosquitoes at bay.
Tourists are being urged to practice safe sex, and those with pregnant partners cautioned to use condoms or abstain for weeks or even months to avoid unknowingly transmitting the virus.
Even as some competitors are taking extra precautions with the Olympic Games set to open here Friday, Brazilian and global health officials are trying to reassure athletes and visitors alike about what they say are the minimal risks of contracting and spreading Zika.
No country has been hit harder by the virus than Brazil, which recorded 165,932 suspected Zika cases this year through June 11, about 46,000 of them in Rio de Janeiro state, the second most of any state in the country.
The World Health Organization, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the International Olympic Committee say there is only a remote chance that any of the expected 500,000 tourists and 10,000 athletes could acquire the virus and carry it home.
Among other factors, they cite the current seasonal drop in Brazil’s mosquito population, and the probability that most tourists will be spending the bulk of their nights in air-conditioned motels and their days in enclosed sports venues.
The Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at the CDC told The Wall Street Journal in a statement that while “globalization is the main driver” of the spread of Zika, “the relative contribution of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio is, proportionally, a very small part of that risk.”
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