By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The increasing danger of the Zika virus has led Rio 2016 Olympic Committee to issue a statement guaranteeing that installations where the competitions will be held will be inspected daily during the month-long event to prevent the dissemination of the mosquito during the games.
“Rio 2016 will continue to accompany the situation closely and will follow the guidelines of Brazil’s Health Ministry,” the statement said.
The announcement comes days after several countries, including the United States, started to warn its citizens of the dangers of traveling to countries where the Zika virus has been reported. The virus, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito has been associated to microcephaly cases in Brazil.
According to Rio 2016’s organizing committee the incidence of the virus should be smaller during the games, since August is wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere and the climate is dry and not prone to the proliferation of the mosquito. The Aedes aegypty mosquito also transmits dengue fever, yellow fever and chikungunya.
In mid-January the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a level 2 travel alert for pregnant women in or going to countries where there have been reports of the Zika virus, including Brazil.
The Zika virus surged in the Northeastern part of Brazil in 2015, and has been associated to the high number of babies being born with microcephaly – a congenital condition characterized by the abnormal smallness of the head and incomplete brain development.