TIME Zika

U.S. Athletes Told to Consider Skipping Rio Olympics If Worried By Zika

The logos of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are pictured next to a message on a screen that reads "Message about Zika" during a media briefing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb. 2, 2016.
Ricardo Moraes—Reuters The logos of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and Rio 2016 Paralympic Games are pictured next to a message on a screen that reads "Message about Zika" during a media briefing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb. 2, 2016.

U.S. athletes who are concerned about Zika can consider not attending the games

The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) has told U.S. sports federations that athletes worried about their health amid the ongoing Zika virus outbreak should consider not attending the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, according to Reuters.

Reuters reports, citing anonymous sources, that the news was provided during a conference call with committee officials and leaders of the sports federations in January. Athletic groups were reportedly told they should not go to Brazil if they do not feel comfortable going.

Pregnant women have been advised by U.S. health authorities not to travel to places of Zika transmission to avoid risk of infection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recently updated its guidelines in regards to how to prevent the possibility of transmitting the virus via sex.

“We are closely monitoring the situation through the CDC and have ongoing contact with the International Olympic Committee, the organizing officials in Rio, the World Health Organization and infectious disease specialists with expertise in tropical diseases, including the Zika virus,” Patrick Sandusky, a USOC spokesperson told TIME in an email statement. “Additionally, we’re taking steps to ensure that our delegation and those affiliated with Team USA are aware of the CDC’s recommendations regarding travel to Brazil.”

[Reuters]

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