: BBC: Zika crisis - WHO rejects 'move Rio Olympics' call

14:08 May. 28, 2016

BBC: Zika crisis - WHO rejects 'move Rio Olympics' call

The Christ the Redeemer statue of Jesus Christ is seen a top of Corcovado mountain on June 9, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Getty Images)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected a call to move or postpone this summer's Rio Olympic Games over the Zika outbreak

It said this would "not significantly alter" the spread of the virus, which is linked to serious birth defects.

Watch also World to face severe Zika crisis - WHO

In an open letter to the WHO, more than 100 leading scientists had said new findings about Zika made it "unethical" for the Games to go ahead.

They also said the global health body should revisit its Zika guidance.

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it sees no reason to delay or move the Games because of the mosquito-borne disease.

The outbreak began in Brazil a year ago, but now more than 60 countries and territories have continuing transmission.

While Zika's symptoms are mild, in the letter the experts say it causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads and may also cause a rare and sometimes fatal neurological syndrome in adults.
The letter is signed by 150 international scientists, doctors and medical ethicists from such institutions as Oxford University and Harvard and Yale universities in the United States.

Read also Scientists finally know what the Zika virus looks like

They cite the failure of a mosquito-eradication programme in Brazil, and the country's "weakened" health system as reasons to postpone or move the Olympics in "the name of public health".

Full story

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