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WHO to contemplate Rio Olympics on Zika spread

 Agencies |  2016-06-05 20:58:29.0  |  Washington

The WHO sent teams of senior scientists to Brazil four times “to gather first-hand data on the current situation and assess the level of risk to the large number of athletes and spectators expected to attend the Olympic Summer Games,” Director-General Margaret Chan wrote in a letter dated June 1.

She was responding to a request by US Senator Jeanne Shaheen to evaluate the public health hazards of holding the Games in August.

“Given the current level of international concern, I have decided to ask members of the Zika Emergency Committee to examine the risks of holding the Olympic Summer Games as currently scheduled,” Chan said.

The WHO chief said the experts were due to meet “shortly.” “The Olympic Games draw athletes and spectators from every corner of the globe and it’s important that we understand the global health implications,” Shaheen said in a statement after receiving Chan’s letter.

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