Olympic athletes make plans to avoid Zika virus Cuba's gold medalist Lisette Hechevarria, left, competes with Brazil's Aline Ferreira da Silva, also known as Aline Silva, during the women's wrestling Greco-Roman 72 kg at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico. (AP Photo/Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Gregory Bull/File)
Olympic athletes make plans to avoid Zika virus
Lexile

Aline Silva has had the dengue fever twice. So she's not taking any chances with the Zika virus.
 
Silva is a Brazilian wrestler who hopes to win an Olympic medal in just over six months in Rio de Janeiro. At a test event Jan. 31 for the games, at a venue in Rio's new Olympic Park, she wasn't alone in being concerned.
 
Several non-Brazilian athletes talked about slathering on mosquito repellent. They stay in their hotel rooms and away from the water and the beaches. They want to avoid mosquitoes.
 
Brazil is an epicenter of the rapidly spreading Zika virus. It's a mosquito-borne disease. Brazilian scientists say it is linked to a rare birth defect.
 
The growing international health emergency around Zika could scare athletes and fans from coming to South America's first Olympics as organizers prepare for hundreds of thousands of visitors.
 
"For me, it's very worrying," Silva said. She applies repellent about every 90 minutes when she's away from home.
 
"Really, the biggest problem is in training and competing, when I can't use it (repellent)," she said. "I have had dengue twice. So I am aware about all of this. Maybe I am more worried than most."
 
Asked if other Brazilian athletes were concerned about Zika, Silva replied: "Yes, of course."
 
American wrestler Adeline Gray is a three-time world champion who will be an Olympic favorite for gold. She raised the issue of Zika's link to birth defects and cases of babies being born with unusually small heads and possible brain damage.
 
"I think if I was planning to have a child next month, I would be extremely uneasy about this," Gray said. She competes in the 75-kilogram class. "Maybe that would have changed my decision (to come here)."
 
Gray said her coaches have banned her from going swimming in Brazil during her stay.
 
"Unfortunately we're not spending too much time outside. We're wearing long sleeves, long pants and just making sure we have on as much bug spray as we can."
 
Gray said she's trying to avoid the distraction. As several reporters kept asking her questions, she politely stepped away to watch an ongoing match at the new Carioca Arena 1.
 
"This anxiety has to kind of subside so you can focus on what you are doing," she said. "If you are worried about that in the back of your mind, then you're not doing your job well enough."
 
Japan coach Shigeo Kinase gave similar advice to his wrestlers about staying indoors.
 
"We are trying not to leave the hotel too often," he said. "If my athletes go out shopping, I go with them."
 
Rio organizers have been scouring Olympics venues daily for two weeks. They are looking for standing water. That's where mosquitoes breed. Rio spokesman Mario Andrada said the inspections would continue daily until the games open Aug. 5. That will be in Brazil's winter when it's cooler, drier and the mosquito population is smaller.
 
Andrada emphasized that no one is publicly talking about canceling or postponing the games.
 
"This has never been mentioned. No way," Andrada said. "It's impossible to do that. There is no reason to do that."

Filed Under:  
Assigned 311 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was Adeline Gray banned from swimming?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (155)
  • ben0424-yyca-byo
    2/03/2016 - 09:48 p.m.

    I think that this is one of our priorities in the medical department. I would not want to actually go to the Olympics because of this danger. I would stay home and watch on my television. This would be a better way to avoid the virus. Besides all this eruption of talk, I am excited about the Olympics.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    2/03/2016 - 10:14 p.m.

    The Zika virus might have made Olympic athletes to be making plans to avoid the virus that had been spreading through out Brazil that had affected the Olympic swimming team because most of the mosquitoes are found in still water to lay their eggs. The Olympic athletes might have not been able to be doing their swimming because of the still waters that mosquitoes are able to lay their eggs without being interrupted by people who are swimming in water sources. The mosquitoes might have only have smaller population in the winter which the mosquitoes have advantage of people in the winter because during the winter it is warm. Olympic athletes might have been banned of swimming in lakes of other water sources because still water can only make more mosquitoes to be produced.
    Critical Thinking Question: Why was Adeline Gray banned from swimming?
    Answer: Because of the Zika virus she wasn't allowed to swim in the waters because people had been afraid that she might get affect with the Zika virus.

  • rachelh-612-
    2/04/2016 - 09:16 a.m.

    Since mosquitoes hang around warm, standing water in Brazil, it is dangerous for anyone to swim in water, even if it is not standing. And it's especially dangerous for Gray, since she is a swimmer, and she can't get diagnosed with the disease before the Olympics

  • ellal-
    2/04/2016 - 12:21 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because standing water, like swimming pools, lakes, rivers, or hot tubs, are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. If she were to go swimming, and the water had mosquitoes or mosquito eggs that had the Zika virus, she could be affected, and then she would be out of the games. I think that her coaches feared that if she went swimming, it would be just their bad luck that the pool, lake, hot tub, etc. that she was in would have the Zika virus in it. I would be scared!

  • elsiee-
    2/04/2016 - 12:33 p.m.

    I never realized that there is such disease. I think if that if I were a Olympic wrestler, I would cancel going to train because I would be to nervous that I might get the disease. While I was worry I might fail the games and not reach my goal of getting a gold medal. Also I am afraid of mosquitoes.

  • allief15-
    2/04/2016 - 12:35 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because her coaches did not want her to get a diseases called Zika because she was a gold medal champion! The coaches did not want her to get ill.

    I think that Adeline was right not to cancel or postpone the event for an illness but to just watch out were you were going, I love the Olympics and would hate to have it go because of an illness to. I'd just be careful of what I do to assure that I will not get sick and still be able to participate.

  • jilliand-3-bar
    2/04/2016 - 07:49 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because her coach does not want her to catch the Zika virus that is carried in mosquitoes. In the text it says, "Gray said her coaches have banned her from going swimming in Brazil during her stay." Since mosquitoes live near water, having her swim is a big risk. I think it is interesting that some people are debating about still having the Olympics in Brazil. I think that the Olympics should move locations until the virus is not as much of a risk.

  • tylera-1-bar
    2/04/2016 - 08:26 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because her Olympic coaches were taking concern about the zika virus in brazil. The virus spreads on water because that's where the mosquitoes breed. Gray's coaches do not want her to get affected by the virus. I chose this article because I am very interested in the Olympics and how athletes are taking precaution.

  • simonak-3-bar
    2/04/2016 - 08:49 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because of the Zika virus. The passage states that to avoid the Zika virus, one should spray bug spray on them. If one is in the swimming pool, the bug spray will come off and it will make them more likely to get this disease.
    My opinion on this article is that I think it is dangerous for the Olympic Games to be still going on with this virus having its epicenter in Brazil.

  • lilyr-4-bar
    2/04/2016 - 08:59 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus are abundant in the water and outside in general. This is shown where it says, "They stay in their hotel rooms and away from the water and the beaches." I found this article interesting because I didn't know the athletes were already in Rio training.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT