Official: Olympics will not be postponed over Zika virus

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The International Olympic Committee is not considering postponing the games in Brazil this fall in the wake of the Zika virus’s spread, the group’s top medical official said Thursday.

{mosads}“Everything that can be done is being done” to keep athletes safe as they compete in Rio de Janeiro, the committee’s medical director Dr. Richard Budget told The Associated Press.

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, has minimal symptoms in adults but can be a risk to pregnant women. The virus has been linked to thousand of birth defects born to Zika-infected women in Brazil — considered the epicenter of the outbreak.

Some athletes, including those on the U.S. women’s soccer team, have raised concerns about the virus spreading in the Olympic stadiums.

Budgett says the disease should be considered “in perspective” and added that global health officials have not restricted travel to the country.

Some scientists have warned the virus could cause the paralyzing condition Guillain-Barre Syndrome in adults, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says they cannot confirm the link.

The CDC has issued travel alerts to more than 25 countries, urging pregnant women to avoid areas where they could become infected. More than 50 cases have been reported in the U.S.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who leads the infectious disease arm of the National Instiutes of Health, told lawmakers last week that he would not advocate for postponing the Olympics and that each athlete can make their own decision whether to attend.

Tags Brazil International Olympic Committee Olympics Zika virus
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