DOH allows Pinoy athletes to go to Brazil
(The Philippine Star) - July 25, 2016 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday cleared Filipino athletes for travel to the 2016 Olympics next month despite the Zika virus threat in Brazil, where the sports competition will be held.

Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said they have given clearance for travel of the Filipino athletes to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, one of the countries where local Zika virus transmission has been recorded.

“There is no real threat to the athletes, especially since none of them are pregnant,” Ubial said, adding that the athletes should not worry and just do their best and make the country proud.

A total of 12 Filipino athletes are flying to Brazil to compete in the 2016 Olympics to be held from Aug. 5 to 21.

Some athletes from other countries are reportedly skipping the quadrennial meet due to fears of contracting Zika. Ubial said the only real threat to an individual is if she is pregnant at the time of infection.

“Zika virus illness is very mild with flu-like symptoms. It is non-fatal. The only severe complication is microcephaly for babies born to women who contract the virus while pregnant,” Ubial said.

But she still advised the Filipino athletes to take the necessary measures to adequately protect themselves from mosquito bites.

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