Tue | Jul 17, 2018

ZIKV well taken care of in Brazil - Fennell

Published:Thursday | May 19, 2016 | 12:00 AMDania Bogle

While political and health authorities, as well as sporting interests, continue to express fear about travelling to Brazil for this summer's Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro because of the possibility of contracting the mosquito-borne Zika virus, president of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) Mike Fennell said he is much more concerned about transmission of the disease in Jamaica.

Over the last few months, the Zika virus, or ZIKV, as it is widely called, has been linked to microcephaly in newborns, while there are also concerns that the disease can be transmitted sexually and may cause other complications yet unknown.

"Zika is well taken care of (in Brazil), if you follow the World Health Organisation and Pan American Health Organisation," said Fennell.

"I'm more concerned about here in Jamaica and the mosquitoes. I was in Brazil last week and there was no incident. I am concerned about Jamaica because we have the threat of Zika right here in Jamaica and the same precautions we need to take here, we need to take it when we go to Brazil," he added.

Meanwhile Fennell said he was not concerned that Jamaican athletes might refuse to go to Brazil because of health or political concerns.

He also noted that controversy has surrounded every Olympic Games in recent history.

"This is not to say that we do not take them seriously. We take all of them seriously. That's why leadership is there to ensure that everything is in place," he said.

Fennell, in the meantime, was confident that Brazil would stage a very good Olympic event.

"I do believe we will see a brilliant Olympic Games in Rio. It will be of a different disposition altogether because it's not of the old-school type of London or Greece, but certainly, it will have its own flair, and the Rio organising committee have gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that all the issues are being properly addressed and that we will have a good Games," he assured.