Aedes aegypti mosquitoes sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Brazil, Jan. 27, 2016. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
No threat of games being postponed, spokesperson saysMario Andrada, spokesman for Rio's Olympic organizing committee, said there was no threat of the games being postponed or cancelled because of the outbreak. "We're not even thinking of that," he said. "This has never been mentioned. No way. It's impossible to do that. There is no reason to do that." The IOC reiterated the position that, because the games will be held during the southern hemisphere winter, the mosquito population will be smaller and the threat of the virus diminished. The IOC cited current medical advice that all travellers should take measures to avoid mosquito bites, including wearing long pants and long sleeves and using insect repellent. Women who are planning to become pregnant should discuss travel plans with their health providers to assess the risk, it said.
The IOC said the WHO does not recommend any change to travel plans, but noted that some national authorities have recommended "on a precautionary basis" that pregnant women should consider avoiding travelling to areas infected by Zika. The IOC noted that plans had already been put in place by Brazilian organizers for daily inspection of Olympic venues to remove any puddles of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed. "Rio 2016 will also continue to follow the virus protection and control measures provided by the authorities, and will provide the relevant guidance to games athletes and visitors," the statement said. Andrada, the Rio Games spokesman, said organizers held a conference call Friday with sponsors to explain preventive measures. He said officials had started inspecting the venues and already noticed an improvement. "In the beginning, the first few days of inspecting, we found a lot (of stagnant water)," Andrada said. "Now it's dropped dramatically." The Australian Olympic Committee said this week that any pregnant team members "need to consider the risks very carefully" before deciding whether to go to Brazil. The U.S. Olympic Committee said it was monitoring the situation through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the IOC, the WHO and infectious disease specialists. The European Olympic Committees said it was following events and also expects that each individual country "will be taking strict precautions and will be advised by their own health authorities." AP Sports Writer Stephen Wade in Rio de Janeiro contributed.
"We're not even thinking of that. This has never been mentioned. No way."
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