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, and 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 in order to avoid mosquitoes.
 
Brazil is an epicenter of the rapidly spreading Zika virus. It's a mosquito-borne disease that Brazilian scientists say 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," said Silva, who 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, a three-time world champion who will be an Olympic favorite for gold, 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 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 76 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why was Adeline Gray banned from swimming?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (56)
  • katherinec-3-bar
    2/03/2016 - 06:45 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because the article says, "They stay in their hotel rooms and away from the water and the beaches in order to avoid mosquitoes" (paragraph 3). Because Gray is a swimmer and mosquitoes are attracted to humid weather, she has a likely chance to catch the virus.

    I decided to read this article because we learned about this in social studies, and I was interested in learning more about it.

  • josiec-1-bar
    2/04/2016 - 08:00 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because she does not want to get the "Zika virus." Her coaches banned her from going swimming becasue the main transmitter of this virus are mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are usually located in humid areas and the beach is a humid place to go swimming. Her coaches want her to stay indoors because they do not want her getting infected with the virus before she competes in the Olympics. My opinion is that it is a good idea to ban all athletes from swimming so they will be healthy and ready to compete in the Olympics.

  • mayaw-6-bar
    2/04/2016 - 11:46 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because the mosquito repellent would have come off after she got out of the water, so she could possibly get bitten by a mosquito. In paragraph 7 and 8, it states, "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).'" This quote was said by another boxer competing in the 2016 Olympics. This quote means that athletes in Brazil must be extremely careful, and always remember to apply mosquito repellent. Therefore, Adeline Gray was banned from swimming in Brazil because the mosquito repellent would have worn off when she got out of the water, so she could possibly have gotten bitten by a mosquito when getting out of the water. This article surprised me because 4 in 5 people don't know they have the Zika virus, and they don't have the symptoms of the virus, so it surprised me a lot that athletes are going to such extremes to put on mosquito repellent.

  • ericw-6-bar
    2/05/2016 - 12:09 a.m.

    She was banned because people do not want the virus effecting people as a start. But the bigger problem which could be more fatal is because she was pregnant. A child that hasn't been born yet is much weaker than her so they could have a way larger effect than if she gets hurt.

  • ryanc-1-bar
    2/05/2016 - 12:49 a.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because her coaches are concerned of the spread of the zika virus which is spreading rapid across South America and mostly in Brazil. So to prevent her from contracting the virus they banned her from swimming until something is done about the virus.

    I found this article interesting because i plan to eventually travel there one day.

  • caleighm-4-bar
    2/05/2016 - 01:04 a.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming in Brazil because Zika virus bearing mosquitoes breed near standing water. (paragraph 17). Swimming pools would count as standing water. Gray's trainers do not want her to catch the dangerous virus, so they are not letting her go near any swimming pools.
    I chose this article because we discussed the Zika virus and its potential impact on the upcoming 2016 Olympics.

  • johnl-6-bar
    2/05/2016 - 03:04 a.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because the virus might infect her. With the Olympics coming in a couple months she wouldn't want to lose all of that training time. I chose this article because the Olympics are coming up and it is a big event with a global problem.

  • carsonk-2-bar
    2/05/2016 - 10:22 a.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because she did not want to get the disease. "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." This article was interesting because of babies being born with small heads which is not good. This article did not surprise me because it was obvious that if there was a disease they would have done something to prevent it.

  • carlym-4-bar
    2/05/2016 - 10:58 a.m.

    Adeline Gray was banned from swimming because they don't want their athletes to get the virus. "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." This explains how they are wearing longs sleeves and staying inside so that they won't get the virus.
    I found this article very interesting because I didn't know that the virus was this serious and would affect the Olympics.

  • brycec-ver
    2/05/2016 - 06:00 p.m.

    Adeline Gray was not allowed to go swimming because she was planning on having a child next month. The Zika virus, which is carried by the mosquitos, cause birth defects that may kill an infant.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT