Author Topic: World health organization to assess Zika impact on Olympics in Brazil  (Read 106 times)

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Offline mastercode

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An emergency committee "will meet shortly" to examine the impact of the virus on the summer games, the WHO chief has said. Over 1.5 million people have been infected in Brazil, the country most impacted by the outbreak.

World Heath Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan said the UN's public health body would convene a special committee to review the threat of Zika in Brazil and its impact on the Olympics scheduled for August.
"Given the current level of international concern, I have decided to ask members of the Zika Emergency Committee to examine the risks of holding the Olympic Summer Games as currently scheduled," the WHO chief said in a letter to US Senator Jeanne Shaheen published on the lawmaker's website on Friday.

"The experts, well-versed in travel medicine, the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases, seasonal patters of mosquito-borne infections and risks communications, will meet shortly," Chan added.
Earlier this month, 150 health experts from across the globe issued an open letter urging the WHO to delay or cancel the games in Brazil.

However, WHO spokeswoman Nyka Alexander on Friday told Reuters news agency that "it is not within our mandate" to make decisions on holding the Olympic Games, amid concerns the mosquito-borne virus could threaten athletes and spectators alike.

Last week, the UN body said postponing or canceling the games would not "alter the international spread of (the) Zika virus" since it has been recorded in at least 60 countries.

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