Rio Olympic organizers again downplay Zika fears

Lead organizer Carlos Nuzman speaks at a May 20 news conference at Rio 2016 headquarters.
(Felipe Dana / Associated Press)

Speaking at an International Olympic Committee meeting on Thursday, the lead organizer of the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro repeated his belief that the Zika virus will not mar the sporting event.

Carlos Nuzman told members of the IOC’s executive board that the outbreak will subside by August, when cooler temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere’s winter lead to a decrease in the mosquito population that spreads the disease.

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Nuzman’s comments echoed those of the World Health Organization, but other health experts have disagreed.


A group of 150 doctors, scientists and professors recently published an open letter calling for the Games to be postponed or cancelled.

Brazil has been hit hard by Zika, an otherwise mild virus that in some cases can lead to neurological ailments and, when pregnant women are infected, birth defects.

IOC spokesman Mark Adams said Thursday: “We follow the recognized global authority on health, which is the World Health Organization.”



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