WHO to discuss Zika virus threat

Zika Baby

Zika Baby

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is re-examine what the risks of the Zika virus could be during the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Several experts have called for the Games to be postponed or moved over fears it could speed up the spread of the virus around the world. The WHO has rejected these calls, however, claiming it would “not significantly alter” the outbreak.

They have now called an emergency meeting for later this month to re-evaluate the situation.

“The emergency Committee meeting will consider the situation in Brazil, including the question of the Olympics,” said Nyka Alexander, a spokeswoman for the WHO.

A date still has to be officially announced but it is expected to be on June 21.

Alexander said the WHO could only make recommendations as “it is not within our mandate” to cancel the Olympics.

Dr. David Heymann, chairman of the WHO Committee of Independent Experts, claimed that postponing Rio 2016 because of fears it could speed the spread of the Zika virus would give a “false” sense of security because travelers are constantly going in and out of Brazil.

It will be winter in Brazil when the Olympics begin, so the mosquitoes that carry the virus will be less abundant.

— Insidethegames

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