The Olympic Games 2016 and the global threat of Zika virus

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His position is not alone. A group of 150 doctors, scientists and bioethicists around the world have written a letter to the World Health Organization calling for the Rio Olympics to be postponed or moved because of concerns of the spread of the Zika virus. “Currently, many athletes, delegations, and journalists are struggling with the decision of whether to participate in the Rio 2016 Games,” the letter states. “It is unethical to run the risk, just for Games that could proceed anyway”, they said. Dr. Arthur Caplan, the director of the division of medical ethics at New York University, co-authored the letter. The document recommends that WHO convene an independent group to advise a rational decision. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said however that it sees no need to cancel, delay or move the Rio Olympic Games because of the Zika virus threat even if IOC medical director Richard Budgett said that it would continue to monitor the situation closely.

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