Zika Virus News At Olympics 2016: Many Tourists To Be Infected?

Zika Virus News At Olympics 2016: Many Tourists To Be Infected?
Cidade Candidata (Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympic Games) Uri R / Wikimedia Commons cc

The 2016 Olympics is supposed to get started in Rio de Janeiro early August; however, on May 2016, it was reported that due to the Zika virus, the event may be postponed or moved.


Brazil is the nation most affected by the mosquito-borne virus, responsible for a birth defect that results to babies born with abnormally small heads and underdeveloped brains.

According to The Guardian, the Zika virus has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, a neurological disorder that can cause paralysis and death.

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A study done in the United States shows that out of a possible 500,000 going to Brazil for the Rio Olympics, many are expected to go home with Zika.

According to Prof Albert Ko, chairman of the department of epidemiology of microbial diseases at YSPH, Brazil is being stigmatized due to the presence of the virus.

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“The possibility that travellers returning from the Olympics may spread Zika has become a polemic issue that has led to athletes dropping out of the event, and without evidence, undue stigmatisation of Brazil,” said Ko.

Eurekalert reported that several calculations are being made, assuming that the worst-case scenario estimates visitors to encounter the same exposure as local residents. These calculations are based on travel-associated Zika virus. But this assumption may absolutely be unlikely, as visitors would be living in screened and air-conditioned accommodations.

Ko added that the study by Yale serves the actual data, which puts together early findings from Brazilian scientists, proving that these concerns may be highly exaggerated.

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