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UN's WHO Rejects Calls To Shift Rio Olympics Over Zika


Laboratory employeecultivates cells infected with the Zika virus at the laboratory of the company Euroimmun in Germany on February 5, 2016.

Laboratory employeecultivates cells infected with the Zika virus at the laboratory of the company Euroimmun in Germany on February 5, 2016.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has rejected a call from 150 health experts to consider postponing or moving the Rio Summer Olympics due to the Zika virus in Brazil.

The UN health agency, said in a statement May 28 that there is "no public health justification" for postponing or canceling the 2016 games, which run from Aug. 5 to 21.

The WHO, which declared the spread of Zika in the Americas a global emergency in February, said that a shift of the games would make no significant difference to the spread of the virus.

In an open letter to the WHO director-general released May 27, experts from over two dozen countries in fields including public health, bioethics and pediatricscalled for the Rio games to be delayed or relocated, though not canceled, "in the name of public health."

Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world are expected to travel to Rio de Janeiro and other Brazilian destinations this summer to see some 10,000 athletes compete at the games.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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