WHO: No reason to cancel Olympics over Zika
© Getty Images

The World Health Organization (WHO) is rejecting a call to postpone this summer's Rio de Janeiro Olympics over the Zika  virus outbreak, saying there is “no public health justification.”

ADVERTISEMENT

“Based on current assessment, cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus,” WHO said in a statement Saturday, according to The Associated Press.

“WHO will continue to monitor the situation and update our advice as necessary.”

The statement follows an open letter from 150 health experts on Friday calling for the Olympics to be postponed or moved because of the virus.

A range of professors from countries including the U.S. and Brazil signed the open letter, citing a risk to global health from continuing the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August.

“WHO’s declaration of Zika as a ‘Public Health Emergency of International Concern,’ coupled with new scientific findings that underscore the seriousness of that problem, call for the Rio 2016 Games to be postponed and/or moved to another location — but not cancelled — in the name of public health,” the group wrote.