IOC says Rio Olympics to go ahead despite Zika virus outbreak

IOC President Thomas Bach

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will not be cancelled and the mosquito-borne virus will not affect the Games.

Speaking in Los Angeles, IOC President Thomas Bach expressed confidence that there will be good conditions for athletes and spectators at the Rio Games in August, despite the explosive spread of the Zika virus across the Americas.

But President Dilma Rousseff’s chief of staff, Jaques Wagner has urged pregnant women to not travel to Brazil for the Olympics because of the risk posed by the virus.

The risk, which I would say is serious, is for pregnant women. It is clearly not advisable for you to travel to the games because you don’t want to take that risk,” he said.

The unprecedented warning, issued just over six months from the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, came after the World Health Organization declared an emergency over the virus, suspected of causing microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in babies.

No vaccine or treatment currently exists for the virus.

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