DOH to PHL athletes for 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil: Concentrate first on training

February 15, 2016 11:56 pm 

MANILA, Feb. 14 — The Department of Health (DOH) has reiterated its advice for Filipino athletes bound for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, brazil this August to stay focus first in their training and not on the threat of the Zika virus there.

“As of now, what we really want is for them (the athletes) not to be bothered by the threat of the mosquito-borne virus while they prepare for their forthcoming competitions,” said DOH Spokesperson Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy.

According to him, at this point in time, it is important that the athletes will be able to focus on their preparations for the competitions and how they can bring home the medals.

“We do not want them being bothered and lose their focus on their training,” Dr. Lee Suy said.

From Aug. 5 to Aug. 21, thousands of athletes from around the world are expected to converge in Rio de Janeiro to participate in the 2016 Olympics.

The Philippines is expected to field athletes in different sports events.

Dr. Lee Suy said the DOH will not be issuing yet some recommendations on the participating Filipino athletes in the Olympics as they will still be evaluating the situation in the South American nation by the middle of this year.

“We want to see first what will be the situation (in Brazil) come July… By then, we'll come up with an advisory,” the Health official said.

He added that they will come out with an assessment by that time of any developments whether the Zika virus situation in brazil is already under control or has worsened.

He said that the results of the assessments will surely reflect on the recommendations that the agency will release.

“If the cases are still high, then maybe we shouldn’t allow them to go… But if it is already under control, why should we prevent them from joining?” Lee Suy said.

To date, Brazil is one of the countries that are experiencing Zika infection outbreaks.

The virus can be transmitted through the day-biting mosquito (Aedes aegypti), sexual intercourse (through men’s semen) and blood transfusion.

The disease is manageable and compared to dengue, it is milder except among those with co-morbid conditions.

The symptoms are influenza-like rashes, fever, conjunctivitis, and joint pains.

However, the disease is being feared about among mothers who are pregnant because there is a tendency that their babies will develop microcephaly.

Microcephaly is a kind of complication during the pregnancy period of a woman wherein the brains of the baby in her womb may not achieve full development and therefore shrink in size.

The underlying reasons behind occurrences of microcephaly are still being studied because not all microcephaly cases can be attributed to zika virus infection alone. (PNA)

SCS/LSJ

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