Updated 05:59 PM EDT, Thu, Aug 06, 2020

Rio Olympics 2016: Organizers Advise Athletes to take Extra Precautionary Measures Against Zika Virus

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Organizers of the 2016 Rio Olympics have emphatically stated that the Zika virus won't hamper the event. Still, they are reminding athletes and other international delegates to not be complacent while in Brazil.

Rio 2016 medical director João Granjeiro recently told media members that Brazilian health officials and volunteers are working double time to eliminate potential Zika-mosquito breeding grounds in and around the Olympic village, The Guardian reported.

"The area (near the Olympic sites) will be constantly monitored and searched for stagnant water," he said.

Granjeiro also advised athletes to use air-conditioning instead of opening their windows. He also suggested they put on mosquito repellent and wear sufficient clothing as much as possible.

Summer Games spokesperson Mário Andrada said the Olympics committee is working closely with the Brazilian government to ensure the safety of not only the athletes but also the spectators and employees of Rio 2016.

Past and present British athletes have already voiced their dismay regarding the unfortunate circumstances engulfing this year's Olympics, as per BBC.

Gail Emms, a badminton player who won silver at the Athens Olympics in 2004, said the fear of getting infected with Zika would affect her performance if she hypothetically participated in Rio.

"I'd be in a very uncomfortable situation," reckoned the 38-year old former Olympian. "You would feel frustrated, angry, and really worried about your friends and family. As a mother, I can only hope the best solution can be found quickly. I see the pictures and reports and I cry."

British rower and London Olympics gold medalist Kath Grainger, who is currently qualifying for a Rio stint, expressed the same sentiment and would have wanted zero distractions coming into the Summer Games.

"From a selfish point of view, this is the culmination of our careers where we try and make our mark on the world of sport," she said. "Yet suddenly you have this flip side which is quite a serious health hazard and potential risk."

Despite the fears from athletes, the Olympics committee stated that there haven't been any reports of trips getting cancelled or tickets being returned. That said, the multi-million dollar event is still suffering from lackluster ticket sales.

Xinhua pointed out that only 75 percent of the target income has been met. That roughly translates to $2.75 million across 42 sporting events. Ticket revenue of the Paralympic Games is much more scant, with only 330,000 seats booked so far.

To save on expenses, organizers of both the Rio Olympics and Paralympics have reduced the number of volunteers from 70,000 to 50,000. The initially planned 5,000 escort vehicles for athletes and other international delegates have been trimmed to 4,000, per Yahoo Sports.

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