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brazil zika outbreak

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro have announced plans to prevent the spread of the Zika virus during the Olympic Games later this year.

Zika outbreak – which is being linked to severe birth defects – has caused growing concern in Brazil and abroad.

Inspections of Olympic facilities will begin four months before the Games to get rid of mosquito breeding grounds.

Daily sweeps will also take place during the Games.Zika outbreak Rio Olympics 2016

However, fumigation would only be an option on a case-by-case basis because of concerns for the health of the athletes and visitors.

The Brazilian health ministry says it is also banking on the fact that the Games are taking place in the cooler, drier month of August when mosquitoes are far less evident and there are considerably less cases of mosquito-borne virus.

Brazil has the largest-known outbreak of the Zika virus which has been linked to a spike in birth defects in new-born babies whose mothers were bitten by the mosquito during pregnancy.

The US, Canada and EU health agencies have issued warnings saying pregnant women should avoid travelling to Brazil and other countries in the Americas which have registered cases of Zika.