As Olympics have started in Rio de Janeiro, all the participants have their eyes glued on the prize. While the competing participants want to solely focus on their game, they might not stop worrying about Zika virus. But can we really blame them for being worried?
Brazil has been in international headlines for a while now because of the Zika virus outbreak. Zika virus affected nearly 166,000 people in the country and led to defective births to Zika-infected mothers. Born with abnormally small head, termed as microcephaly, these children have lifelong neurological and developmental problems. Having no curative vaccination available, this mosquito-borne virus can be transmitted sexually which makes it more distressing for the Olympics participants.
But, striding ahead with a true sportsman’s spirit, these athletes won’t back out from the games out of fear.
Experts have also ensured that the likelihood of the spread of virus during the Olympics is very low as winter is approaching and the breeding season for the mosquitoes is yet far. But, this doesn’t mean that precautionary measures shouldn’t be taken. And for this very purpose, the Olympics participants have adopted creative ways for the prevention of disease.
Getting pregnant in a Zika virus affected area is discouraged by experts. Not only women carry it but men’s semen can also lead to a defective birth. Alarmed about this concern, the partner of British track star Greg Ruthorford has not accompanied her partner to Brazil but has his semen frozen, just in case he gets infected and they want to have children together in near future. He took it to Twitter and said:
— Greg Rutherford (@GregJRutherford) June 7, 2016
Others have been taking advantage of Zika-proof condoms which are supplied by Australian manufacturer and contain additional layer of anti-microbial agents. While all condoms provide protections, these particular ones claim to often better protection.
Going back to the basics, others are using mosquito nets to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Furthermore, mosquito repellents are the most-wanted support system for the athletes who do not dare go out without applying them.