Doctors have issued a new warning – this time not for women, but for men -- asking expectant fathers to take extra precautions in Rio de Janeiro amid the Zika crisis.
Some Olympic athletes are taking the advice to heart and staying home.
Less than 30 days before the Olympic torch is lit, but several athletes have extinguished their 2016 chances, including Australia’s Jason Day.
“I just can’t put my family through that, especially with the future children we are looking at having,” he said.
Fellow golfer Rory McIlroy also withdrew, saying his family comes first.
All this, even though world health leaders have tried to calm fears about the mosquito-borne virus. Some Bay Area doctors echoed the sentiment.
“Smart money says nothing’s going to happen,” said George Rutherford, an epidemiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. “It’s the wrong time of year.”
For athletes staying the course, a mass fumigation campaign is underway in Rio to eliminate Zika-carrying mosquitoes.
“There are things that are just out of our control and, as an athlete, I feel like it’s my job to focus on the things that are in my control” said Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin.
At least a dozen companies and universities are racing to develop a vaccine for Zika. According to the World Health Organization, some U.S. pharmaceutical companies have recently received approval to begin testing Zika vaccines on humans. However, they aren’t going to be ready before the Olympics.
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