Author Topic: WHO reject Changing Summer Olympics venue for Zika virus  (Read 151 times)

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WHO reject Changing Summer Olympics venue for Zika virus
« on: May 30, 2016, 01:00:55 AM »

An open letter signed by 150 health experts is calling for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to be postponed or moved because of the Zika virus outbreak.

The signatories, which include experts from more than two dozen countries in fields including public health, medicine and academia, said Friday that to hold the games would be "irresponsible" and "unethical." Among the signatories is former White House science adviser Dr. Philip Rubin.

"The Brazilian strain of Zika virus harms health in ways that science has not observed before," the letter said.

Linked to birth defects

The virus has been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly in which babies are born with unusually small heads and brains. The World Health Organization has said pregnant women should avoid areas where Zika outbreaks are occurring, including the Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The letter's authors said "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. Should that happen to poor, as-yet unaffected places (e.g., most of South Asia and Africa) the suffering can be great."



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