CDC: Four African Nations Most at Risk from Zika at Olympics


Four African nations are most at from Zika outbreaks due travel for the Olympic games, according to a US health agency.

The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea and Yemen are most vulnerable to outbreaks related to travel during the games in Rio. However, the CDC insists the overall risk of athletes and fans contracting Zika remains very low.


Worst-case scenario

The CDC statements point to a worst-case scenario where people contract the virus and take it back to their home nations. The US health agency drew a list of 19 countries susceptible to outbreaks – with the four African nations considered those most at risk.

However, both the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) are confident there is a ‘very low risk’ of Zika spreading due to the Olympics.

The CDC bases its assessment on a wide range of factors. These include the weather of each country, any previous Zika outbreaks and the presence of Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea and Yemen top the list because they have very little travel to Zika-stricken areas.


Caution still required

Despite confidence the Olympic Games pose a minimal threat, health organisations insist on taking necessary precautions. August isn’t mosquito season in Rio but fans and athletes are still advised to wear sensible clothing and use repellent when possible.

The same advice was given before the World Cup in 2014. Brazil has one of the highest rates of dengue fever in the world – which is spread by the same mosquito. However, only three cases were confirmed during the competition – all 300 miles away from Rio.

The message for people travelling to Rio for the summer Olympics is to be sensible, take the necessary precautions and enjoy the experience.


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