Zika threat might delay Rio Olympics to ensure safety of tourists

Published on : Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rio OlympicsHundreds of medical experts and scientists have demanded to postpone or move Rio Olympic Games, in order to prevent spread of Zika. On Friday 27th May’16, experts concluded that it would be way too risky to conduct the games in this high risk zone. The Olympics might speed up the process of spreading the dangerously infectious virus Zika, around the globe.

Some of the experts including Dr. Tom Frieden, the director of US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, assessed that there is no need to cancel the games as long as the necessary precautions are taken to prevent Zika.

The group of 150 public health experts, mostly bioethicists, sent a letter to director-general of WHO, Dr. Margaret Chan, urging to postpone the date of the Rio Olympics, which was about to be held in August. They also suggested moving the Olympics to another location.

Dr Chan wrote in the official website of Rio Olympics, “An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic.”

The letter state, “The Brazilian strain of Zika virus harms health in ways that science has not observed before. Available evidence indicates that for games participants, risk of exposure to Zika virus and subsequent adverse health outcomes will be low.”

Prof. Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at New York University School of Medicine informed, “I believe in informed consent. Let’s have an independent set of scientists look at this and let everyone hear the arguments.”

The final decision is yet to be taken regarding the Olympics. Tourists might have to wait a little more, in order to visit the phenomenal Rio.

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One Response to Zika threat might delay Rio Olympics to ensure safety of tourists

  1. Zika has the potential to turn into a global disaster by the numbers and nationalities that would turn up for Olympics. As a people, we have the duty to ourselves to stop that from happening. Forget the commercial value and save lives. Look at postponing the Games first while efforts are focused on cleaning up and eradication the Mosquitos. Right now we are talking about Brazil and the affliction that has already been done, so why risk and take it to a global scale. Imagine the resources that would be needed then to combat the disease across the globe. We need to learn from history. No regrets would come from postponing the Games but most likely from going through with them. W.H.O should be in the lead with this message and not to the contrary.

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