WHO Rejects Calls To Move The Rio Olympics Due To The Zika Virus

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Over 100 medical experts signed an open letter urging the World Health Organization to push for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro to be moved, citing the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil. However, WHO have rejected the notion that the games need to be moved.

The open letter noted that the WHO itself had declared the Zika virus outbreak a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern,” saying that that information “coupled with new scientific findings that underscore the seriousness of that problem, call for the Rio 2016 Games to be postponed and/or moved to another location—but not cancelled—in the name of public health.”

But the organization is having none of it. In a statement released on May 28, the UN agency said that “cancelling or changing the location of the 2016 Olympics will not significantly alter the international spread of the virus.” They added that ” “based on the current assessment … there is no public health justification for postponing or cancelling the games.”

Even without this move to postpone the games the Zika virus has already put a major damper on the economic boost typically associated with hosting the Summer Olympics. In the weeks following the revelation of the outbreak and its effects on unborn children, ticket sales fell by more than half and have continued to decline.

(via Al Jazeera)