Updated 03:48 PM EDT, Thu, Oct 22, 2020

How the Zika Virus can Affect the Rio 2016 Olypmics: What Precautions to Take [Prevention & Treatment]

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Brazil took a severe beating last year with its political scandals and the economic crisis befalling the country. However, the country's woes are far from over as the Zika virus threatens the tourism industry during two major events in the country -- Carnival and the upcoming Olympics 2016.

The Guardian reports that officials from both the tourism and Olympics industry have downplayed the entire Zika-virus outbreak in the country. 

The Zika virus has become connected with as string of mental birth defects in infants whose mothers were infected by the mosquito-borne disease. Health officials sent out an alert just two weeks before Carnival, a major event in Brazil.

This year's Olympics are also scheduled to take place in Rio de Janeiro, which is a first for South America. Preparations are already underway, which have already been hampered by the country's failing economy. According to the Guardian report, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also issued a travel warning to pregnant women last week. The center advised pregnant women that traveling in the 14 countries in the Caribbean and Latin America was discouraged unless approved by a medical doctor.

Brazil expects around 500,000 foreign visitors at the Olympics 2016, which is relatively small compared to the numbers generated by Carnival.

Olympic officials assured Brazil's health ministry that they are paying attention to the warnings issued by the government. Despite this, they reported that they have seen no signs of trip cancellations or a disruption in the preparation for the Olympics, which is set on August 5.

Reuters also said that local officials say that they are taking the necessary measures in order to prevent the spread of the Zika virus as well as other mosquito-borne diseases. The officials added that these preventive measures will be enough to assure that both tourists and locals will be safe from infection.

Health authorities advise visitors who want to travel to Brazil to take precautionary measures such as using insect repellent and wearing shirts with long sleeves and pants.

Since there is no specific treatment for the Zika virus, health officials can only recommend "rest, fluids, and use of analgesics and antipyretics."

Health experts cannot explain how and why Zika has spread in Brazil. In addition, tourism events, such as the Olympics 2016 and Carnival, could potentially allow the virus to spread to other parts of the world.

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