It’s an ominous health message…..postpone the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. That’s the word from the Harvard Public Health Review, which reads – in part:
Simply put, Zika infection is more dangerous, and Brazil’s outbreak more extensive, than scientists reckoned a short time ago. Which leads to a bitter truth: the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games must be postponed, moved, or both, as a precautionary concession.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) is not calling for the games to be scuttled. In a news release issued today, WHO called on Olympics visitors to:
- avoid visiting impoverished and overcrowded urban areas to prevent catching the mosquito-borne Zika virus,
- use insect repellent and clothing on as much of their body as possible,
- practice safe sex or abstain during their stay and for at least four weeks after returning from Brazil, and
- pregnant women continue to be advised not to travel to areas with ongoing Zika virus transmission including Rio.
According to a story on the BBC, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has not plans to postpone the upcoming games. IOC medical director Dr. Richard Budgett said”The clear statements from WHO that there should be no restrictions on travel and trade means there is no justification for cancelling, delaying, postponing or moving the Rio Games.”
ABC News put together a video story on the Zika threat at the Olympics. Click here or on the picture below to see it.
At least one American athlete, soccer goalie Hope Solo, says she ‘will’ compete at the games, but is quoted in the Washington Post as saying – “I’m not sure I’m even going to be leaving the hotel room, outside of practice.” The Zika virus has been known to cause birth defects in newborns.
Let us know what you think about the request to postpone or relocate the Olympics. Is it a smart move or will this cause undue panic? As we know, the Zika virus has been a hot topic in Arizona as well this year, so generating these conversations around the issues people are thinking and talking about is important; particularly if we truly hope to one day reach our goal of making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!