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Zika virus and the Rio Olympics

The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil, will begin in early August. The Zika virus outbreak is ongoing in some parts of Brazil (among other countries in the Americas and the Pacific).

Ahead of the Games, experts came to the SMC to answer questions such as:

  • what do we know about the Zika virus and what do we still not know?
  • what general factors should athletes/spectators take into consideration when deciding whether to travel to the Olympics?
  • do the Olympics represent a risk in terms of the future of the outbreak in Brazil?
  • what about other countries that athletes and spectators return to after the Games?
  • what can people in Brazil (athletes/spectators/residents) do to minimise their risk of being bitten by mosquitoes?
  • are there other things people can do to minimise the chance of getting Zika virus?




Prof. Mike Turner, Head of Infection and Immunobiology, the Wellcome Trust

Prof. Jimmy Whitworth, Professor of International Public Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Dr James Logan, Senior Lecturer and Director of arctec, Department of Disease Control, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Prof. Danny Altmann, Professor of Immunology, Imperial College London, and British Society for Immunology spokesperson

Prof. Hugh Willison, Professor of Neurology, University of Glasgow (joining by phone)

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