The United States Olympic Committee is telling Team USA members concerned about the Zika epidemic they should think about avoiding August’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In a late January conference call, U.S. sports federations were told that no one should go to Brazil “if they don't feel comfortable going. Bottom line,” Reuters reported. President of USA Fencing Donald Anthony said the call emphasized that line of thinking for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. He said he was told, “Whether you are scheduled to go to Rio or no, that you shouldn’t go.” Global health authorities have said the mosquito-borne virus can cause microcephaly, a condition resulting in an abnormally small head in a child. More than 5,000 cases of the birth defect have been reported in Brazil alone because of Zika.
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