Is it snobbery, is it paranoia, is it legitimate fear, or is it all nonsense?
Seventeen athletes have, so far, declined the invitation to got o the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil citing the danger of zika. Even the USOC has said it ‘would understand’.
“The United States Olympic Committee told U.S. sports federations that athletes and staff concerned for their health over the Zika virus should consider not going to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in August.”
A few athletes from Britain have chosen to remain at home, as well. Greg Rutherford froze some sperm before leaving.
Australian athletes have been issued thicker, coated, zika-proof condoms, and will attend. (It’s Rio, after all; who’s kidding whom?)*
The Koreans have developed a zika-proof uniform. (Presumably, a larger version of the Australian solution.)
The Chinese athletes got some health advice.
Some have gone very far out of their way to find a necessarily convoluted reason to slip the word ‘zika’ into their article, obviously trying to capitalize on the click-bait nature of the modern wwweb. It goes to show to what lengths some will go to in order to hype a story. Stories that are broadly good for the media raise all their boats and so see the most attention. It has precious little to do with what’s really going on. Besides, the press are not under any obligation to tell you everything. They don’t have the resources to cover everything, after all. The following article is a good example of click-bait.
“The threat of Zika at the Rio Olympics is on the mind of many athletes but few more so than China’s former badminton world champion Wang Yihan, who was attacked mercilessly by insects while competing in Indonesia last week.”
“They’re itchy,” she told Reuters…
Itchy?!? Is that all? That seems pretty weak. So what?
“I’m really not sure what kind of bugs they were. I don’t think they were mosquitoes. Maybe it was on the bed that I was sleeping on.”
Oh, bedbugs. Indonesian bedbugs, no less.
“I bought some cream for them, but they’re still itchy.”
Great setup for the zika scare story. By the way, ‘Zika’ is always capitalized.
When asked about zika:
“Yes, I think everyone’s been thinking about (Zika),” Wang said. “But obviously we’ve been told about how to be safe, wearing repellent and staying indoors and so on.”
She doesn’t seem too concerned, does she?
What’s with all the hype?
Thankfully there is some truth out there, if you read Portuguese.
“I don’t know where it comes from this information that children up to seven years would be the most susceptible, but it is not so,” he says. -trans. (Yandex)
There is a lot of evidence (and common sense) which indicate that zika should not be a significant threat, not to mention the fact that many tourists would be going to Rio, Olympics or no Olympics.
Anyhow, as Vox reports, August isn’t mosquito season in Rio.
“It’s going to be winter [during the Olympics], so the risk is going to be low in terms of mosquito transmission,” said Duane Gubler, a leading researcher on mosquito-borne diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School.
But if you like your fear even more ‘porny’, here’s a scary story from China, which rebuts the ‘winter’ claim. It hasn’t deterred Chinese athletes from attending, though. I suppose, when one grows up with dragons, a little mosquito isn’t really that bad.
*There’s also a more disturbing plot affot. Remember those Australian condoms? Reuter’s, CNN, RT, the Guardian (and several other British papers) have all pushed the story, but it turns out to have been a marketing gimmick. Surprise, surprise, surprise.
Here’s the thing: all condoms protect against Zika infection when used correctly.
So is this a case of snobbery? Do certain athletes from certain countries not want to participate because of Brazil’s third-world status? It didn’t keep them out of the world cup, did it? Or is this a political move aimed at the scandalous behaviour of the government? Maybe it’s just good old-fashion fear-mongering. Should we all be afraid all the time? Or is this something else?
Are mosquitos (humanity’s natural vaccinators – they hold disease in check by exposing everyone’s immune system to very small doses of it) to be the new ‘boogey-man’? Whatever could be the reason? Is a vaccine in the works? You bet!
The discovery “could lead to the development of a universal vaccine” against both diseases, they hoped.
Much of South America suffers from pollution, economic strife (which causes shortages in medicine,) and food shortages, and and the CDC states that microcephaly is caused primarily by toxins, infections, and malnutrition. Is it any wonder Brazil is a ‘hot-spot’ for zika, mosquitos or not?
A bit of advice for those going to Brazil: Don’t lose your pretty little heads over it.
A: “Of significance, the Zika virus is a commodity which can be purchased online from the ATCC-LGC for 599 euros, with royalties accruing to the Rockefeller Foundation.”