LILLEHAMMER (Norway) (Sputnik) – Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) Margaret Chan believes that the organizers of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro will not experience major problems due to the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said Sunday.
Brazil hosts the first Olympic Games in South America on August 5-21, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro.
"This week I’ve had a conversation with the director general of the WHO who will travel to Brazil on Monday to address this issue. We have seen comments from the experts of the WHO who are responsible for coordinating with the director in this issue. She expressed her confidence that in Rio de Janeiro we will have fantastic Olympic Games and that we’d love to be there," Bach told reporters.
He added that these news improved IOC confidence in the success of the games.
The Zika virus is transmitted by daytime-active mosquitoes. The current outbreak originated in Brazil in the spring of 2015. Since then the virus has spread across Latin America and began to draw international media attention in recent weeks when the first cases in Europe and the United States were confirmed. Over 1.5 million people have been infected with the virus in Brazil since the outbreak began.
Zika does not cause serious complications in adults, but is suspected of leading to severe brain defects and cases of microcephaly in newborns.