How Zika could end up canceling the Olympics

How Zika could end up canceling the Olympics

The case of Zika virus and its relationship with 2016 Olympics has come stomping on the newscasts in the last days.

Although trying to make a call for calmMany athletes have acknowledged that they are thinking of not traveling to Brazil, so if the idea spreads it may be necessary to cancel this edition.

This has awakened a great controversy between those sectors of the population that agree with this provision and many others who consider it exaggerated. Logically, everyone has their own arguments, but today we are going to tell you in the most objective way possible what is happening and why.

The Zika virus and the Olympics

A week ago, the well-known basketball player Pau Gasol He made some statements in which he showed his reluctance when going to the olympic games and requested that the athletes be duly informed of the risks involved in that trip.

His request had no official response, but has served to finish lighting the flame of the fear, which has spread much faster than that of the Olympic torch.

Pau was not the only one to confess his fears, since other participants such as the golfer Rory Mcllroy wave footballer Hope Solo They have also stated that they are considering their absence, making it increasingly plausible the need to cancel or defer games.

In fact, a group of more than two hundred scientists has written a open letter to WHO in which they explain in detail the reasons for holding the Olympics as planned would be a unconscious and unethical actsince it would put a large part of the world population in a unnecessary risk.

Is the Zika virus really serious enough to cancel the Olympics?

It is known that Zika virus symptoms under normal conditions they are not dangerous at all, since basically they consist of general discomfort, fever, headaches, and skin rashes, so it can be cured with rest and a very simple treatment.

This could make us think that it really is not a disease to be feared so much as to cancel an Olympics, but the truth is that there are many reasons to seriously consider it.

It has already been verified that in case of affecting pregnant women your children can be born with microcephaly; but, as the two hundred scientists who have written to WHO explain, it is biologically possible that it also produces other brain damage so far undetected, in the same way that occurs with other similar viruses such as the dengue.

Furthermore, the epidemic has led to the Brazilian health system is very deficient, so if the number of cases increases, it would be very difficult for them to be attended.

This is all blowing up alarms from brazil, but if the country were filled with people from other regions, it would be possible for the virus to spread the rest of the world, making its eradication much more complicated. The main transmitter of the disease in South America is known to be the mosquito. Aedes aegypti and that in order to spread to other regions of the planet the existence of other insects able to act like vector. This could make us think that in Europe we are free of risk, but the truth is that in the southern zone of our continent lives Aedes albopictus, other potential vector which, in addition, could also be extended to other regions.

The same occurs in United States, since so much A. aegypti how A. albopictus they are found in some areas of the east of the country.

Finally, although lately only Zika is discussed, A. aegypti It also transmits other viruses of even greater concern, such as chikungua epidemic arthritis, so this should also be taken into account.

What could be the solution?

Logically everything will depend on competent authorities; but, seen the seen, the advice of science is that the Olympic games they are postponed or they change their headquarters.

In the letter to the WHO they remember that the virus can be eradicated; Well, in fact, it was already done in the 50s. Therefore, it could wait until everything is calmer and celebrate them in the same place.

Another option would be to keep the dates by celebrating them in another country that has not yet had an epidemic and has a most suitable infrastructure for it.

In any case, there is still nothing decided and we will have to wait for a decision to be made while the statements of the athletes fearful of the disease continue to come in droppers. That s, no matter what happens, we will keep you informed.

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