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Global Community Should Heed WHO’s Guidance On Zika, Allow Olympic Games In Brazil To Continue

Washington Post: Don’t let Zika stop the Olympics
Ashish K. Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, K.T. Li professor of health policy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School

“An expert panel convened by the World Health Organization just declared that there is no scientific basis for canceling, postponing, or moving the 28th Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August or the Paralympics in September because of the Zika outbreak. … There are ample reasons for alarm … but they don’t stand up to scrutiny. First, several new studies estimate an exceedingly low risk of travelers getting Zika. … Second, … [c]anceling the Olympic Games won’t change the fundamental dynamic that we live in a highly interdependent world where global travel is common and widespread. Finally, … to stem the tide of [Zika] sexual transmission, we have two relatively effective tools: education and condoms. … Ignoring this science and postponing the Olympic Games would set a dangerous precedent. … Postponing the Olympics would send a clear signal to future organizers of major world events : Keep disease outbreaks a secret or the world will act irrationally and cancel your event. That would be a wrong and dangerous message…” (6/19).

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