The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Must Not Proceed

Here is some very thoughtful commentary from Dr. Amir Attaran published in Harvard Public Health Review.

http://harvardpublichealthreview.org/off-the-podium-why-rios-2016-olympic-games-must-not-proceed/

Here’s the clincher from that opinion article:

“Which leads to a simple question: But for the Games, would anyone recommend sending an extra half a million visitors into Brazil right now? Of course not: mass migration into the heart of an outbreak is a public health no-brainer. And given the choice between accelerating a dangerous new disease or not—for it is impossible that Games will slow Zika down—the answer should be a no-brainer for the Olympic organizers too. Putting sentimentality aside, clearly the Rio 2016 Games must not proceed.”

I agree. Either Zika in South America and the Caribbean is a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, in which case the games must not proceed… Or it isn’t. It is, and the games should not be carried out because the danger is real of the virus being taken back home by athletes and visitors.

I'm a doctoral candidate in the Doctor of Public Health program at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. All opinions posted here are my own, of course, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my school, employers, friends, family, etc. Feel free to follow me on Twitter: @EpiRen

3 thoughts on “The 2016 Olympic Games in Rio Must Not Proceed

  1. They’ll proceed. When matters of public health conflict with tons of money being made, public health takes a back seat.

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  2. The Zika virus is spread by one specific kind of mosquito. The same mosquito that spreads dengue fever and yellow fever, which are both much more dangerous to everyone than Zika. Hmmm, dengue and yellow fevers are to Zika like rubeola is to rubella. They all have dangers, but the target is different.

    Here is the thing, the aedes aegypti mosquito is not native to the Americas. There is no reason to care if it was eradicated. The FDA wants to conduct a trial of releasing male GMO mosquitoes to reduce their numbers:
    http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/tell-the-fda-what-you-fear-more-zika-or-gmo-mosquitoes/

    I submitted my support to get rid of the critters:
    https://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=FDA-2014-N-2235-1005;p=1

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