Zika virus won't stop Summer Games, Olympic officials say

Responding to rising fears about the Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, the medical director of the International Olympic Committee said there has been no discussion of postponing or canceling the upcoming Summer Games in Rio de Janerio.

Dr. Richard Budgett told the Associated Press "everything that can be done is being done" to prepare a safe environment for the 17-day international competition.

“Our priority is to protect the health of the athletes," Budgett was quoted as saying Thursday. “The IOC absolutely is not complacent. We do take this very seriously."

The mosquito-borne virus has reached what the World Health Organization characterizes as an emergency status.

In particular, researchers are trying to determine if infection during pregnancy leads to cases of microcephaly, a rare condition in which infants are born with abnormally small heads. Pregnant women have been advised against traveling to infected areas.

Brazilian officials have ramped up mosquito-abatement efforts and have stressed that the Games will occur during wintertime in the Southern Hemisphere, when the insect population should be somewhat reduced.

The Games are scheduled to begin on Aug. 5

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times