BOSTON HERALD – A growing chorus of voices is calling for Brazil to postpone the Summer Olympics and advising tourists to stay home as the country’s political system remains in turmoil and the outbreak of the Zika virus shows no signs of letting up.
In an article published in the Harvard Review of Public Health this week, Amir Attaran, a medicine and law professor at the University of Ottawa, argued holding the Rio Olympics as planned is far too risky, and said the games should either be postponed or moved.
“Zika is more dangerous and more widespread — and in particular the situation in Rio — than anyone imagined,” Attaran said. “This is the Olympic Committee being greedy and putting its billions of dollars ahead of these children’s birth defects.”
The Zika virus has continued to spread in Brazil, and has been shown to cause birth defects, including babies born with abnormally small heads and brain damage.
Cases have also been emerging in the United States and Massachusetts health officials yesterday said there have been 10 confirmed cases of Zika in the state, although all arrived from elsewhere and none appears to have been transmitted here. Officials are advising people, especially women who are or may become pregnant soon, to avoid traveling to tropical areas hit hardest by Zika.