World Health Orgainsation refuses call for Rio Olympics to moved due to Zika virus


London: The World Health Organisation (WHO) rejects to move or postpone the Rio Olympic Games due to the threat posed by Zika virus in Brazil on Saturday. On Friday, an letter signed by 150 international doctors, scientist and researchers called for the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro to be moved or delayed due to the virus.

WHO said that "cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of the virus".

Zika infection in pregnant women has been shown to be a cause of the birth defect microcephaly and other serious brain abnormalities in babies.

The letter was sent to Margaret Chan, the WHO’s director-general, and said that the Games, due to be held in Rio de Janeiro in August, should be moved to another location or delayed.

“An unnecessary risk is posed when 500,000 foreign tourists from all countries attend the Games, potentially acquire that strain, and return home to places where it can become endemic,” the letter said.

The WHO’s advice is that pregnant women should stay away from areas with ongoing Zika virus transmissions, including Rio de Janeiro. It also advises everyone to make all efforts to protect against mosquito bites and to practice safe sex.