CDC: Rio Olympics Won’t Increase Risk Of Zika Transmission

If you’re planning on traveling to Rio de Janeiro in August for the Olympics, you can worry about your team winning or whether or not you’ll catch a glimpse of a famous athlete, but the Centers for Disease Control says you probably shouldn’t be concerned about an increased risk of catching the Zika virus.

Echoing earlier findings from the World Health Organization, which has also said travelers will probably be just fine going to Rio, the CDC says in a new advisory that the Games won’t present a significant additional risk of transmission of the Zika virus for most of the world.

That’s because travel for the Olympics represents less than 0.25% of total travel to Zika-affected countries, as well as the fact that the Games are held during Brazil’s dry and cool winter months, which is not a great time for the mosquitoes that transmit Zika.

Although all countries risk travel-associated exportation of Zika virus, CDC estimated Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Yemen are at a bit higher risk because they don’t have “substantial travel to any country with local Zika virus transmission, except for their participation in the Games, and have environmental conditions and population susceptibility to sustain mosquito-borne transmission of Zika virus,” the CDC says.

Still, the CDC stresses just like the WHO, pregnant women should stay away, and all visitors should take measures to prevent sexual transmission of the virus. That means if your pregnant wife stays home, you shouldn’t have sex for at least eight weeks after returning from Rio.