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Published on Tuesday, May 31, 2016

CDC: Zika will not impact Olympics

The International Olympic Committee says it has no plans to postpone the summer Olympic Games in Rio, after a call by a group of prominent medical professionals to take action over the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
 
In a letter to the World Health Organization, more than 100 prominent doctors and professors said  the Games should be postponed or moved to another host city 'in the name of public health.'
 
"We make this call despite the widespread fatalism that the Rio 2016 Games are inevitable or 'too big to fail,'" the letter said.
 
The WHO released a statement in response saying any drastic action would not likely cut off the spread of the disease.
 
"Canceling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus. People continue to travel between these countries and territories for a variety of reasons. The best way to reduce risk of disease is to follow public health travel advice," the WHO said.
 
 
The letter, signed by a group of leading physicians, professors and bioethicists,  said 'it is unethical to run the risk.'
 
Brazil has been at the center of efforts to halt the spread of Zika which causes microcephaly, a rare birth defect.
 
US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sees no reason to postpone the Games.
 
"There is no public health reason to cancel or delay the Olympics," said director Dr. Tom Frieden.
 
The Olympics begin in early August and is expected to attract more than 500,000 spectators from around the world 
 

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