Health

No Zika cases detected among Olympics participants: WHO

Olympics

GENEVA: No Zika cases have so far been detected among athletes, spectators or other participants in last month’s Olympic Games in Brazil, the World Health Organization said Friday.

“We don’t have any confirmed cases of Zika amongst travellers or amongst… the athletes,” Peter Salama, the WHO’s chief on outbreaks and health emergencies, told reporters.

He pointed to data presented by Brazilian experts to the UN health agency’s emergency committee on Thursday detailing the situation in the country, which by has been the hardest-hit by far.

The experts provided “very convincing data” showing that among all Olympic athletes and spectators who sought medical attention during the Games, not a single case of acute Zika infection had been detected, emergency committee chair David Heymann said.

Nor have any such cases been reported in people who returned back to their own countries following the games, he said.

Ahead of the Olympics there was widespread concern that international travellers flocking to the Games would help the virus to spread further and faster.

WHO had however stressed that since the Games were held during the Brazilian winter, risk of transmission of the mosquito-borne virus was “minimal”.

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