150 health professionals call for Olympics in Rio to be postponed due to Zika

A group of 150 doctors, scientists and bioethicists have written a letter to the World Health Organisation calling for the Rio Olympics to be postponed or moved because of concerns of the spread of the Zika virus. The letter cites concerns about further spread of the virus and developing information about it in calling for the Games to be delayed or moved. The letter writers questioned whether the WHO is rejecting alternatives of when and where the Games should be held because of a conflict of interest with the International Olympic Committee. "Currently, many athletes, delegations, and journalists are struggling with the decision of whether to participate in the Rio 2016 Games," the letter states. "We agree with the U.S. Centres for Disease Control recommendation that workers should "consider delaying travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission". If that advice were followed uniformly, no athlete would have to choose between risking disease and participating in a competition that many have trained for their whole lives." The letter notes the concern for global health, citing the possibility of Olympics travellers acquiring the Zika virus in Rio and then returning home, especially to currently unaffected areas. 'Postpone Rio 2016': 150 health professionals have called for the Olympics to be postponed or moved due to the Zika virus. Photo: AP"It is unethical to run the risk, just for Games that could proceed anyway, if postponed and/or moved," the letter states. The letter writers include Amir Attaran, a University of Ottawa professor who specialises in public health and wrote earlier this month in Time that the Olympics should be moved or postponed.
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