Doctor Calls For Olympic Games Postponement Due To Potential For Zika Virus
By Wayne Drash, CNN // May 14, 2016
Postpone or move Olympics to prevent Zika 'catastrophe,' professor urges
ABOVE VIDEO: CNN reports on Doctor Amir Attaran’s call for the Olympic Games to be postponed because of the potential for the Zika virus to become a “full-blown global health disaster.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: The 2016 Olympics in Brazil will take place in the epicenter of a growing Zika viral epidemic, in which its venues are a health hazard, and the host city, Rio de Janeiro, is plagued by violence profound enough that its own athletes are telling people to stay away.
In a recently published article in the Harvard Public Health Review, a prominent Canadian public health professor from the University of Ottawa, Amir Attaran, urges postponement or relocation of the 2016 Olympics to prevent a “foreseeable global catastrophe” posed by the Zika outbreak.
The CNN article excerpted below reports on Attaran’s critical question: In light of the growing pathological impacts of Zika on both fetal development and on adults, why would anyone encourage a deluge of potential hosts (500,000 people from all over the world are expected to travel to Brazil for the Olympics) of the disease that could potentially carry it immediately to all corners of the world?
The World Health Organization has deferred to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for authority over the disposition of the games. The IOC’s medical director, Richard Budgett, said that he would continue to monitor the situation closely, but he and the IOC authorities insisted the Aug. 5-21 games would go on as planned.
What transpires with this potentially catastrophic issue in the next three months will unquestionably come down to protecting the exorbitant cash investment in the 2016 Olympic Games by the IOC and Brazilian olympic officials versus preventing the certain acceleration of the dissemination of a dangerous disease across the globe. The choice should be a “no-brainer,” but don’t hold your breath.
– Dr. Jim Palermo, Editor-in-Chief
CNN — With the Zika outbreak widening in Brazil, a leading Canadian public health professor says the summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro should be postponed or moved to prevent “a foreseeable global catastrophe” resulting in the deaths of adults and in babies born with malformed heads.
“Simply put, Zika infection is more dangerous, and Brazil’s outbreak more extensive, than scientists reckoned a short time ago. Which leads to a bitter truth: the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games must be postponed, moved, or both, as a precautionary concession,” University of Ottawa professor Amir Attaran wrote in the Harvard Public Health Review.
Attaran’s stance adds to the chorus of growing concerns over the Summer Games being held in Brazil, where the mosquito-borne virus is flourishing despite widespread public health attempts to stop it. The Zika virus has been shown to cause a rare birth defect known to result in babies born with abnormally small heads and other neurological problems.
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