‘Don’t worry’: DOH allows PH team to compete in Brazil amid Zika threat

  • Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said athletes who are competing in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics can go to Brazil
  • The DOF  chief noted that there is no reason to stop PH Team from competing
  • Brazil is one of  the countries that have been affected with Zika virus

Athletes from the Philippine team, who will compete in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, are allowed to go to Brazil, the Department of Health (DOH) said.

In an article written by Charina Clarisse Echaluce of Manila Bulletin, it was disclosed that Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said there is no reason to stop the Philippine Team from competing in the 2016 Olympics.

“They have clearance. There is no real threat to the athletes, especially since none of them are pregnant,” she explained.

Zika infection is usually characterized by fever, rash, and conjunctivitis. Other symptoms are joint pain, muscle pain, headache, and vomiting. Brazil is one of  the countries that have been affected with Zika virus.

A total of 12 athletes will be part of the Philippine Team in the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Olympics will take place from August 5 to August 21.

‘Don’t worry’

The health secretary told athletes not to worry and just do their best in the Olympics.

“They should not worry… the athletes are not at risk. Just do your best in the Olympics and make the Philippines proud!” she stated.

Ubial stressed that the virus is only a real threat for pregnant individuals.

“Zika virus illness is very mild with flu-like symptoms. It is non-fatal. The only severe complication is microcephaly for babies born to women who contract the virus while pregnant,” she explained.

However, the DOH secretary advised the athletes to protect themselves from being bitten by mosquitoes.

Screening upon return

Upon returning to the country, the athletes will be subjected to screening procedures.

“We will screen them when they get back. Quarantine and blood test. If negative within 24 hours, they are free to go home,” said Ubial.