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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) is assuring the public that all the necessary measures have been taken to safeguard the health of athletes and visitors attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.
  • The Zika Virus is transmitted through the bite of the infected Aedes aegypti mosquito and is reported to cause fever, joint pain, rash and red eyes.
  • Ms. Valle assured that all visitors to the country can expect favourable health conditions during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) is assuring the public that all the necessary measures have been taken to safeguard the health of athletes and visitors attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.

President of the JOA, Hon. Michael Fennell said the association has been receiving regular reports from the International Olympics Committee (IOC) about efforts by the Brazilian authorities to contain the Zika virus.

“The association is satisfied that all the necessary measures have been taken to ensure that the health concerns are not of a major proportion and should not deter anyone from competing well and enjoying themselves in Rio for the Olympic Games,” Mr. Fennell said.

He was speaking at a press conference held on July 11 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel.

The virus is transmitted through the bite of the infected Aedes aegypti mosquito and is reported to cause fever, joint pain, rash and red eyes.

Meanwhile, Deputy Head of Mission at the Brazilian Embassy in Jamaica, Diana Jorge Valle told JIS News that the Brazilian Government has been engaged in intensive prevention, control and training activities to fight the virus.

The Brazilian official noted that all proper measures to fight the Aedes aegypti mosquito are still in effect to safeguard against a resurgence of the virus. Additionally 3,000 health agents are on stand-by to give assistance.

“Over the past months, rumours of the possibility of an outbreak of tropical disease during the games have been a source of concern.We can assure you as did the World Health Organization, that the risk of ZikV infection during the games is (minimal),” she said.

She informed that a national plan was launched by the Brazilian authorities to combat the virus.

This, she said included an extensive public awareness campaign which targets pregnant women and women of childbearing age on the effects of the virus; increased laboratory testing to detect the virus by several national agencies; and training of health practitioners.

Among the activities to fight the virus was the purchase of 100 tonnes of larvicides, and insecticide to kill the mosquito at its larval stage of development.

There has been an increase from 43,900 to 309,900 in the number of health workers deployed to visit households and public facilities with the support of 50,000 military officials.

Other activities include cleaning campaigns run by the 1,200 military organizations throughout Brazil.

Additionally, a Travellers’ Health website with information on the Zika virus and other pertinent information translated in English, Portuguese and Spanish has been established.

Ms. Valle assured that all visitors to the country can expect favourable health conditions during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.