28 May 2016
The World Health Organization, WHO has rejected call from Health experts to move or postpone this summer’s Rio Olympic Games over the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil.
The call which was made on Friday urged the WHO to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved due to the overwhelming outbreak of the virus.
Former White House science adviser, Dr. Philip Rubin and experts from Oxford, Harvard and Yale Universities in the United States were among the 150 experts and scientists who made the call.
They issued an open letter to the UN health agency, calling for the games to be delayed or relocated “in the name of public health”, adding that the new findings about the virus made it unethical for the Games to go ahead.
In its response, the UN Health agency said that postponing the Games would not significantly alter “the spread of the virus”.
The International Olympic Committee, IOC has also said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games because of the mosquito-borne disease.
The Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil early 2015. Since then, many have believed it would affect the safety of athletes and spectators of the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The infection also known as Zika fever, often causes only mild symptoms, similar to a very mild form of dengue fever.
The illness which cannot be prevented by medications or vaccines can spread from a pregnant woman to her fetus.
This can result in microcephaly, a severe brain malformations, and other birth defects. Zika infections in adults can result in brain damage.