With many Zika Virus cases reported in Brazil, a number of sports personalities and athletes have started raising concern over the upcoming Olympics.
The games are scheduled to take place in the country as from August to September.
Among the worried sports personalities is United States Women’s National Soccer Team star Hope Solo. The goalkeeper has reiterated that she wouldn’t participate in the Olympics given the current Zika virus situation in Brazil. Solo, however, says that she might reconsider her take if proper measures and efforts are put in place to keep the situation uptight.
On February 1st, the World Health Organization declared the neurological cases and microcephaly cases in Brazil and French as “public health emergency of international concern”. The caution from WHO, however, did not follow with travel bans or trade restrictions. Though not proven, Zika virus has been associated with the rising microcephaly incidences in Brazil. With the WHO declaration, fears among sports personalities regarding the Zika virus and the upcoming Olympics games, is there any reason to skip the event? If not, what are the Brazilian authorities up to given that Olympics are only months away?
Brazil in the spotlight
Reports have it that the Brazilian government is making huge efforts to combat the Zika virus in the country. On the other hand, preparations for the upcoming Olympics are going on as planned without hitches. This is according to Brazilian Embassy Minister Counsellor Daniel Falcon Lins. Lins says that the country expects over 1.7 million people during the event and the prep plans are going on as scheduled.
Regarding the Zika virus and its effect on the upcoming games, Falcon Lins reported that about 300,000 Health Ministry employees and 200,000 armed forces’ personnel have been recruited into destroying areas that are deemed to be mosquito-breeding. The minister emphasizes that areas designated for the games will be thoroughly kept safe against mosquito infestation.
Zika virus is known to be transmitted through bites from the Aedes mosquitos. Controlling the mosquito population will be of the essence in transmission prevention. Brazil is also relying on the fact the lesser mosquitos are usually present during the winter season. The Olympics Games usually take place during winter and as such the country is optimistic that this would favor the event amidst threats of the Zika virus.
Olympics Games (August 5-August 21) and Paralympics (September7-September 18)
Lins called on people to turn out for the event urging them to look at the Zika situation in the right perspective. The minister says the Zika is not comparable to the highly contagious Ebola virus and says that the impact of the infection as not as intense as dengue’s.
Brazil is scheduled to host both the Olympics and Paralympics Games as from 5th August-21st August and 7th September-18th September respectively. With about five months to the event and the steps taken by authorities to keep the situation under control, there is no cause for alarm as such. Hopefully, the relevant authorities will respond and give the appropriate measures to be taken.