The Zika virus will be ‘way down’ before Rio hosts the Olympic Games according to the head of the World Health Organization’s Zika response team. Dr. Bruce Aylward, WHO’s executive director for outbreaks and health emergencies, said at a news conference that the mosquito population is expected to drop off around when Rio hosts the games, since it will be winter in the southern hemisphere. Rio’s Olympic venues are also in a relatively confined area, he noted, making it easier for authorities to control the local mosquito population.
“Brazil is going to have a fantastic Olympics and it’s going to be a successful Olympics and the world is going to go there,” Aylward is quoted as saying by The Associated Press. “I just wish I was going there, but there’s not going to be a lot of problems there by then, so I’ll be somewhere else.” Aylward also pointed to the “probability” that the Zika virus will have “gone through” a large slice of the country’s population by then, so many Brazilians might have developed an immunity to the disease by the time of the Aug.5-21 games.
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.