Health concerns have continued to rise over the mosquito-borne Zika virus ahead of the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to weekend media reports. At least one prospective U.S. Olympian has removed his name from consideration for the national team, citing concern for his pregnant wife’s health.
The symptoms of Zika are relatively mild and include fever, rash, joint pain and red eyes. While the symptoms usually clear up on their own within a few days and are relatively harmless, the disease can be extremely dangerous in pregnant women. There is a correlation between Zika and microcephaly, which causes severe birth defects and sometimes death in children born with the condition.
Zika had been contained to Africa, parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands prior to 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This outbreak has spread throughout South America and into the U.S., however; and with the summer Olympics taking place in Brazil, some athletes fear for the safety of themselves and their loved ones.