The World Health Organization has confirmed that no reports of Zika virus has yet been obtained from the athletes who returned from the Olympics 2016 held in Rio de Janeiro.
On Thursday, WHO said that it has not been informed of any such infection yet. It added that no laboratory has confirmed any case of Zika. The spectators, athletes and other people associated with the Rio Olympics, directly or indirectly, were tested for the virus. However, none of them have yet been found positive as per the samples examined.
As soon as the Rio Olympians were back to their respective nations from Brazil, it was speculated that the players might have caught the infection. As a result, the Olympic crew along with the players were tested for the virus, which seems to have produced no results. Brazil has been the nation most prone to the virus. It was the first to report the case of Zika infection, which started in 2015.
Despite the confirmation of no such instance of Zika infection, WHO claimed that there are still chances of the virus to infect Rio returnees given their one-week incubation period. The health organization said that August is the winter month, and hence, it might not be the right time for the mosquito-borne disease to attack people. Thus, Rio might not be that dangerous for the players or other members associated with the Olympics.
“From the reports WHO received from national health authorities, there have so far been no laboratory confirmed cases of Zika virus in spectators, athletes or anyone associated with the Olympics,” WHO said as quoted by NBC News. “The situation is being closely monitored; a few cases may still occur, especially given the approximately one-week incubation period of the virus.”
Prior to the commencement of Rio Olympics 2016, a group of almost 100 scientists wrote a letter in May to WHO describing their concern over the threat of Zika to be imposed on the Olympians and others during the Games. One of the supporters of postponing the Games denied the claims made by WHO.
University of Ottawa’s public health professor Amir Attaran claimed that there have been cases of Zika virus infection reported even during the Olympics. He added that the virus affected people regardless of the distinction made on the basis of their association with the Olympics.