WHO: Rio Olympics Pose “Very Low Risk” of Spreading Zika

World Health Organization concludes the events are unlikely to worsen the viral outbreak.

Tanya Lewis
Jun 15, 2016

FLICKR, IAN BURTThe World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday (June 14) released a statement saying that the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this August need not be postponed or canceled because of the ongoing Zika outbreak. According to the WHO, the events pose a “very low risk” of spreading the virus internationally, BuzzFeed News reported.

“The risk is already low, and it will be very low [during the Olympics],” committee chairman David Heymann of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine told reporters during a news briefing, according to BuzzFeed.

Before the briefing, a WHO Emergency Committee met to evaluate the risks of Zika transmission during mass gatherings including the Rio Olympics. The committee reiterated its previous conclusion that the virus represents a “public health emergency of international concern,” but said that the Olympics pose no additional threat to public health.

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