Zika Virus and the Olympics

August 4, 2016

 

Brazil has been in the news recently. Until now, Brazil has been famous for its Samba dance and the great soccer legend, Pele. Today, the country is the center of attraction all around the world for two contrasting reasons. One is the scheduling of the Summer Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games in August-September 2016 and the second reason is the outbreak of the “Zika virus infection.”

We shall understand the dangers posed by the Zika virus first before moving on to the effect it could have on the staging of the Olympic Games.

You should never underestimate your enemy, however, small he or she may be. The main carrier of the Zika virus is the day-biting mosquito Aedes. This is the same mosquito causing the diseases such as dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever, and others. As the mosquito bites during the daytime, the use of the mosquito nets is ineffective against this disease. Even though the Zika virus is an old one with its first appearance in Uganda in 1947, this variant is a potentially dangerous one.

This virus affects the unborn fetuses by passing through the mother to the unborn child. The disease has the capacity to cause severe abnormalities to the fetus resulting in pediatric microcephaly and brain damage.

The main target of this virus is the pregnant woman. However, men can become carriers of this disease if the mosquito bites them. These men, can later on, transmit the disease to their unsuspecting wives and girlfriends thus affecting the unborn baby even before their conception.

Considering the dangers posed by this Zika virus, there was a worldwide outcry for either postponing or shifting the Olympic Games to some other country such as London and so on. However, as on date, the Olympics are on schedule in Rio, with the athletes already arriving in Rio. However, one should take adequate protection and wear insect repellent clothing such as NOBU.GS with Insect Shield®. This insect maternity protection can provide effective protection against mosquito bites and thus prevent the outbreak of the disease. For areas where there is exposure of the skin, you can still use topical repellents. Meeting all the requirements of the EPA, this maternity wear protection shield can repel biting insects as well as ticks.  

However, many celebrities have decided to give the Olympic Games a miss. The Royal Family of England is one of them with Prince Harry and Kate Middleton firm in their opinion that they will boycott the Games.      

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