Cool temperatures, few mosquitoes make Games Zika-free, so far

Mon Aug 8, 2016 4:58pm EDT
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By Paulo Prada

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - So far, at the Olympics many feared would be the Zika Games, so good.

With as many as one million people expected to attend the spectacle, half of them foreigners, Rio de Janeiro has not turned out to be the Zika hothouse some athletes and visitors feared as the virus wreaked havoc in Brazil earlier this year.

Despite some hot days, swings back to cooler temperatures in Brazil's winter mean that the population of the mosquito responsible for spreading the virus has dwindled.

And Rio itself never endured an epidemic as grave as many scientists had feared early this year. Even with thousands of reported cases of Zika during hot months, Rio was not hit as hard by the virus as Brazil's northeast, for reasons that scientists and the government do not yet understand.

"I'm really not concerned," said Dutch beach volleyball player Alexander Brouwar after a match in the towering metal arena set up for the sport on Rio's famed Copacabana beach.

"I haven't seen one mosquito," he added.

STILL EARLY   Continued...

Rowers are seen through the Olympic rings as seen from Copacabana Beach. Mandatory Credit: Jack Gruber-USA TODAY Sports