The Summer Olympic Games are scheduled to begin on Aug. 5 in Rio de Janeiro, and it appears that will happen under the dark shadow of the Zika virus.
Unfortunately, current conflicts between doctors and the World Health Organization are provoking confusion about the virus. In turn, that’s creating a tremendous amount of anxiety and even fear among athletes who usually would be extremely excited about participating in the Olympics.
Recently, more than 200 prominent international doctors and professors in a letter asked the World Health Organization to call for postponing the 2016 Summer Games or moving them.
But the organization said those actions “will not significantly alter the international spread of Zika virus.” It will inevitably reach other continents, the organization said, regardless of whether the Games are staged in Brazil.
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That response didn’t appease the group of doctors, who insisted again on postponing or moving the event.
No one is interested in seeing this kind of competition among distinguished people in the medical community just two months before the Games are supposed to start.
The stark differences of opinion among the “experts” are scaring some athletes.
Many women athletes around the world have announced they are considering not going to the Games because of the virus. American cyclist Tejay van Garderen said he would not compete to make the team going to Brazil because of the potential effects of the virus on his pregnant wife.
Usually, people around the globe at this point would be looking forward to several weeks of tremendous competition among great athletes at the Summer Games. The doctors need to more clearly explain what the real risks are for the athletes — and thousands of fans — expected to travel in August to Brazil.