Zika Can't Stop the Rio Olympics

Many health experts say the games should go forward—and insurance probably wouldn't cover postponement.

Should the Olympics proceed in Rio de Janeiro in August as planned? With the lighting of the torch set to take place in less than three months, a handful of medical experts are calling for the games to be postponed or moved, citing the risk of globalizing a Zika epidemic that's been mostly limited to the Americas.

Amir Attaran, a professor of law and medicine at the University of Ottawa, argued last week in the Harvard Public Health Review that the games “must not proceed.” Among pregnant women, Zika can trigger severe birth defects that include microcephaly, when babies are born with abnormally small heads. It has also been linked to neurological disorders, including Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Attaran suggested that by August, the epidemic in Rio will be worse than currently predicted.

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