In a mere 65 days, almost 10,000 athletes from 204 countries will gather in Rio de Janeiro for the start of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. An additional 500,000 spectators are expected to file into Rio’s athletic venues, walk its crowded streets, tour its famous monuments and seamy favelas, and frolic on its fabled beaches. Over a hundred thousand more – athletes, staff and tourists – will visit Rio the following month for the 2016 Paralympic Games. At the same time, we have the spread of a disease that remains unchecked, a mosquito-borne virus that is now epidemic in Brazil. Should current rates of transmission remain unchanged, we can predict that thousands of Olympic athletes and spectators will be infected with Zika. Given that it’s not a question of if but when Zika becomes a global crisis, will the World Health Organization (WHO) act responsibly and respond to protect the public health?
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