Zika Virus Outbreak Worrying Olympic Officials


With the notice of race for the Rio 2016 Olympic Sailing Competition released just today, the due date is inching nearer and nearer. The games in Brazil will commence on the 8th of August and run for ten days. However, officials are worried about the rapid spread of the Zika virus in Brazil effecting the audience.

The Brazilian government is recommending pregnant woman to avoid the games as the mosquito-borne virus is linked to birth defects for thousands of newborns in Brazil. Unfortunately, this leads to fewer visitors for the games.

“The risk is serious for pregnant women. For them (travel) is evidently not recommended,” Rousseff’s chief of staff, Jaques Wagner, said. “Tickets have not been returned nor trips cancelled,” Rio 2016’s communications director, Mario Andrada, said on Tuesday.

President Dilma Rousseff said the outbreak has spread rapidly through America and is expected to cause a decline in tourism to the countries where it is present. He also continued to say the athletes do not have any chance of catching the virus.

The World Health Organisation declared the virus an international health emergency and is expected to infect 4 million people in America. The virus was first found in May, since then it has spread to already 24 countries. Australian health officials said the Zika virus did not pose a major threat to Australia.

The well-known Olympic flame will be lit on the 21st of April 2016 in the Greek city of Olympia. After the torch travels through Greece, it will be passed through to Brazilian organisers and will begin its tour around Brazil for 95 days, passing through 300 cities. The last stop will be at the Maracana stadium, on 5th August. The torch signifies the link between the ancient and the modern games.

More than ten thousand athletes will be competing for a gold medal in 42 different sports with two new sports being added into the games after 112 years: golf and rugby league. The website sets up an interactive infograph full of information about the games.


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