Embratur - the Brazilian Tourism Board - has said that there is no discussion of the possibility to postpone or cancel the 2016 Rio Olympic Games following the spread of the Zika virus.
Embratur and other Brazilian government agencies are guided by the recommendations of the World Health Organization, which has argued that delaying the games does not alter the spread of the virus.
Zika is which is already circulating in 60 countries and territories.
Therefore, there is no reason to change the Games in Rio.
“The 2016 Olympics will take place with utmost attention given to the health of the participants and spectators of the biggest sporting event in the world,” explained a statement from Embratur.
“The Brazilian government, in constant contact with the WHO and the Pan American Health Organisation, are taking all necessary measures to ensure the effective combat of mosquito outbreaks, with specific actions to the headquarters of the competition, Rio de Janeiro and the cities that will host football matches.
Embratur reinforces that Brazil will do everything it can to ensure that the Games take place safely and peacefully, for athletes, technical staff and tourists.
Before the 2014 FIFA World Cup, researchers at the University of São Paulo predicted that only around three foreign tourists would contract dengue fever (transmitted by the same mosquito that spreads the Zika virus), among the 700 thousand visitors from other countries who visited Brazil during the competition.
This proved to be correct: three individuals were affected.
In a similar study, the same researchers concluded that the possibilities of an international visitor contracting Zika at the Olympics are extremely rare.
Embratur’s estimate is that between 300 and 500 thousand international visitors will come to Brazil for the Olympic Games.