IOC chief Bach says no Zika fears for Olympics

The International Olympic Committee is in close contact with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the spread of the Zika virus, IOC president Thomas Bach said Saturday.

Despite the rapid spread of the virus in the Americas and Brazil being at the centre of the outbreak there is no reason for fear or panic ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in August, Bach said.

Bach, who is attending the luge world championships in the Bavarian town of Schoenau am Koenigssee, said the Games were taking place in the Brazilian winter which "means climatic conditions will be different, also the breeding conditions."

The Zika virus is said to be behind birth malformations through mother-to-child transmission, with some 4,000 babies born with unusually small heads. There has also been an increase in reported cases of Guillain-Barre muscle weakness syndrome.

The IOC plans to meet national Olympic Committees to brief them on the issue next week.

Last update: Sat, 03/09/2016 - 01:26

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