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Experts say Olympics must be moved or postponed because of Zika (washingtonpost.com)
209 points by graeme on May 27, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 136 comments

Every day hundreds of thousands of people fly in and out of Brazil to and from all corners of the world. Rio Galeão alone handles 17m passengers per year, much more than the total number of Olympic tickets available (most of which are sold to Brazilians, and most of the attendees buy more than just one).

Nobody I can find is giving credible numbers that show the olympics will constitute a significant increase to affected areas over the year as a whole (edit: as adevine points out, below, the article puts the increase at c 0.0025), nor that travel is currently only from a handful of places worldwide.

If international travel to Rio is a public health problem, then focussing on the olympics is pure tokenism.

What percent of current travel comes from areas where Zika could exist, but doesn't? And what amount of travel from such places will the Olympics bring?

Total volume isn't the right consideration if almost all visitors are from places that Zika already exists or can't exist.

Update: I checked the stats: 93% of visitors to Brazil come from places where Zika already is or can't go:


5% are from Asia. Africa isn't mentioned, but it must be less than 2%, part of which would be from North African countries that can't get Zika.

The olympics will bring visitors from every country. It should increase the speed with which the virus reaches sub Saharan African, and Southern Asia.

I don't think your information actually allays any of the concerns, as the total stats refer to visitors from different countries than those who will be visiting during the olympics.

You also have to see probability of someone getting infacted. I am seeing number in range of 500 for population of 10M. I suspected car accidents probably has higher fatality rates.

> I am seeing number in range of 500 for population of 10M.

Over what time period?

I spent a few minutes on it and it looks like, if Zika did not exist, the Olympics would add 10% of extra total yearly tourism to Rio. Some complications:

* tourism to Rio this year is presumably lower than the baseline I'm using because it is presently the site of a Zika outbreak.

* the tourism into Rio for the Olympics is especially international, so it may be reasonable to be especially concerned about its effect on global transmission of the virus.

I think the people advocating for canceling the Olympics understand that it's only 10% extra tourism, but still think that small percentage of extra tourism is a bad outcome.

I posted the article. I think the second point is most worrisome. Most visitors to Rio are either:

1. From Latin America, where Zika already is, or 2. From US/Europe, where Zika can't go.

The olmypics will bring a delegation from every country + tourists from more of those countries. So Zika can spread to other regions. And once it spreads anywhere in a large region it will likely spread everywhere.

On the east coast, the mosquitos that carry Zika are found as far north as New York.

This appears to be true: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/vector/range.html

The range shown here includes all of the Southeast and Texas, much of the southern Midwest, and California up to and including the Bay Area.

This is only the range of Aedes aegypti. Whether a particular strain of the mosquito can carry Zika remains to be seen (though quite likely) as Aedes aegypti is very heterogenous.

> From US/Europe, where Zika can't go.

What? There have been Zika cases in the US.

What he meant was that while Zika can be carried anywhere by humans, it won't spread in areas which don't have the right type of mosquitos.

That's what I meant. It's already going to spread through the US regardless because it's physically connected to areas where Zika exists.

I suppose Southern Europe might be able to get it? I'm not sure if the extent of the mosquitos there.

Update: only a very small bit of southern Spain. So not really a concern for Europe or North Africa. Also, they don't have the sort of contiguous area where it would spread across a whole continent.

Map of Aedes Aegyptus: http://m.imgur.com/uCegZHS?r

Except that it is communicable between humans (and, presumably, other hosts).

It can be communicated between humans, but it sounds like the rate at which that occurs is far too low to cause an epidemic.

That point is argued in the article:

> "There’s been some claims that if the Olympics happen, it’s going to disseminate the virus everywhere, it’s going to amplify it," Frieden said. "Well, we looked at the numbers. The Olympics account for less than one quarter of 1 percent of all travel to Zika-affected areas."

I think this was a plot to a Michael Crichton novel, except instead of Zina it was a terrorist group's bioweapon.

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six had a created virus released at the Olympics as a plot point.

If Olympics increase annual tourism by 10% as I have seen elsewhere and in this thread, then that effectively doubles the tourism to Rio for the duration of the Olympics.

As others have pointed out, there are poor countries that have trouble eradicating mosquito borne disease (think malaria, which is transmitted via the same species as zika) that do not currently have zika. Increasing the speed of the spread of the disease does not seem logical given that we do not even have a vaccine.

Moreover, this is a rapidly evolving disease which is also sexually transmitted.

I would not recommend traveling to Rio or other Zika-invested countries right now. You can't just get vaccinated before travelling.

Doubling the tourism to Brazil for a month seems like a bad idea at best, hazardous at worst.

There are a couple of factors that could make Olympic travelers much more likely than the general non-Olympic traveler to contract or spread the virus.

1. The Olympics venues are in places that have been particularly hard hit by the virus.

2. Much of those non-Olympic travelers are business travelers on short visits. Olympic visitors will typically visit for longer. Risk of infection should go up as length of stay goes up.

3. The virus can be sexually transmitted between humans. I'd expect that Olympic visitors have a higher probability than the average visitor of engaging in sex during their stay.

It's not the full set of hundreds of thousands of people that fly in and out of Brazil each day that you should be comparing against, but rather the subset of those that are there for vacations lasting at least a week or two.

Maybe there should be an Olympic nation. Some country just gives up the land, their claim of sovereignty over it, hand it over the U.N. (certainly not the IOC) and wealth redistribute without all of this stupid waste. Billions of dollars spent with a moving olympics and all the infrastructure ends up not being used for pretty much anything ever again. It's one of the most idiotic things on the planet. I like the olympics, sorta, but how we make them work is immensely wasteful. The very possibility it would be canceled and the infrastructure never used for its intended purpose even once makes that all the more apparent.

Or just hand it to states/cities that can manage it - I.e. has ALL arenas already built, has enough hotels and so on.

It would then pretty much be the last 5 mega-venues (Beijing, London, ...) that could tanke turns re-doing it. Which would be a good thing.

Next option is not having it in one place. It can be a global event. It wouldn't matter if athletics is in Berlin while all the cycling is in Madrid. Would only be worse for on-site fans.

Unfortunately, that reduces opportunities for graft and corruption in the cities that host them, as well as eliminates the main source of bribes that IOC leaders thrive on. Simply won't happen.

... and on-site athletes. A lot of the buzz in the sports community is the dream of sharing the Olympic Village, with all that it entails.

A distributed Olympic would just be a synchronised "World Championship" (events that would then lose all significance, btw, further shrinking budgets). Not gonna happen.

Security gets harder the more locations you have. But, even just splitting in half within the same country could save a lot of pointless waste.

It seems Greece would be a good candidate.

In fact there was a proposal done exactly like that last year, in a WP piece:


The wastefulness is a designed feature, not a bug. The IOC is a corrupt organization, working hand-in-hand with corrupt governments, to put public money into private pockets in a plausibly deniable way.

As such, any proposal based upon rational analysis and sound engineering must be rejected out of hand, because it does not account for kickbacks, baksheesh, palm-greasing, boondoggles, junkets, tribute, or straight bribery.

Once you adopt this view, the Olympics work perfectly, year after year, without fail. The public still benefits, because ordinarily corruption and profiteering of that magnitude requires a war, which can at times get out of hand.

Or you know, we could just cancel olympics. I'm hoping that it will come to this eventually as countries lose interest in hosting them.

The only sensible thing to do in this case. Olympics should have been a showcase of cooperation and participation of all countries in the world.

What will it become if confined to one city? An experiment in finding boundaries of vanity?

Wouldn't countries just adjust their olympic spend such that it becomes profitable to host them rather than lose interest altogether?

There's a reason the locations are trending towards being hosted in corrupt places where the leaders don't care if they're profitable so long as they get their piece.

Such as London and Tokyo?

Tokyo, yeah. It's former governor Ishihara's prestige play that he pushed for years and years. I don't know any normal people that actually wanted it. And since it was decided there's been scandal after scandal about the logo, about the new stadium, about $2M in mysterious wire payments, etc.

Almost every logo had its scandal - London with Lisa giving Bart head, Beijing with its begging peasant, Sydney with the Chicken Head.

I remember the lead up to the Sydney Olympics and no-one seemed to want it - then it arrived and it was an amazing 2 weeks long party and everyone loved it.

Beijing on the other hand was the converse - everyone was expecting it and looking forward to it and then it came and the city went in to virtual lockdown.

You never know which way it's going to go.

No, like Beijing, Sochi, and Rio.

Your proposal would never work: the Olympics need to be decentralized for it to feel "fair."

Or instead of one plot of land, build a sufficiently large seafaring vessel and host it at sea?

According to the Internets, which are never wrong, the largest ship ever was this one:


How do you think this compares with a typical land-based Olympic venue? What other challenges make this idea absurd and ridiculous?

Shell's new Prelude FLNG vessel is even bigger [1], if you call that a ship. It's about five football fields in area IIRC. So still absolutely tiny compared to anything you could host the olympics on.

Fun story: I was talking to some Shell people a few years back, about the potential troubles with LNG sloshing in process equipment due to waves. I asked them, why not just make the ship big enough that waves don't affect it as much? They looked at me very strangely for a few seconds before explaining just how big it already is.

[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10...

Do you know why they don't make the ship more square? Seems like that would help fight tipping due to sloshing (or any other reason...)

Water resistance. Same reason as planes aren't intended to fly sideways.

Maybe one vessel will not be big enough. But a fleet should be able to support every competition but the marathon and have quarters for all the athletes.

I'm sure they can get more ad revenue if the contestants are forced to compete above shark-infested waters, too!

Swimming competitions can even be in them!

Or something like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principality_of_Sealand

They already hosted sports events (see the "sport" section of that wikipedia page).

Haha I love this idea

Because when they were held on Olympia for how many hundreds of years it didn't work and were considered unfair?

The United States has hosted eight olympics and there are about that many countries that never have. London has hosted it three times, Madrid ever has. And so on. The current method is already distinctly unfair. So I don't see how centralizing it into its own nation, like it once was, makes it worse than now.

> Because when they were held on Olympia for how many hundreds of years it didn't work and were considered unfair?

Probably because there were three other games--Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian--that were held at other sites around the Hellenic world? And the "world" was small enough that the sites of each didn't feel inaccessible to (much of) the citizenry of the competing states?

(I find the Olympics generally disappointing and I have no love for them as an event, but a partial view of history doesn't really help anyone.)

Umm... what? You realize that those Olympics were not remotely global, right? That holds as much value as suggesting that England host it because "they host the EPL every year and no one thinks it's unfair"

And if there was a Scottish, Welsh, and Irish league right next door of roughly (though not quite completely) equivalent stature.

If countries freely choose to pay the bill in exchange for the prestige, who cares about the waste?

The citizens of those countries. There are many better things Brazil should be spending their money on, and many people living in terrible conditions who they should be helping.

Many countries and cities who have actually asked their people whether they want an Olympics in the last few years have voted no, for example Oslo in Norway and Stockholm in Sweden.

IOC would make a fortune if citizen could bribe to avoid hosting the Olympics.

You can make the argument at a lot of places, but Brazil is a democracy. They voted for the candidates who pitched the idea of hosting the Olympics, and it had a mass of popular support.

If the IOC runs out of countries willing to host it, then perhaps the host cities will be able to temper how much they want to spend on it. The Olympics don't have to be so elaborate.

I did not down vote this or the other comment, but I disagree that Brazil is a democracy. It's at best a polyarchy, and is probably just an oligarchy. The voting component is a veneer of democracy to make enough of the citizenry seem essentially complicit with the bad ideas of the leaders.

Be it in a democracy or a dictatorship, consent for a special interest is relatively easy to manufacture.

The IOC won't run out of countries who want to host it so long as countries with rampant corruption exist. The timeline of the Olympics is a corrupt developers wet dream.

You think these countries freely chose this? The rampant bribery involved in the olympics is the one sure sport that'll not go away any time soon, despite being illegal. At this point it's become the necessary lubricant to keep the machination of this particular scam going.

Not for one moment do I think the Russian people freely chose to host the recent winter Olympics at a summer beach resort, where metric tons of ice and snow were trucked in, creating the Olympics equivalent of Kleenex in the most obvious one time use venue in recent memory. And the IOC went in on this total scam artistry too instead of having a WTF moment, so they are not just implicated, they're the ones who facilitate this nonsense. I refuse to believe Russians are proud of the abject stupidity that was the Sochi Olympics, even setting aside the rampant bribery and cheating.

Because these countries are made up of humans who are not freely choosing to waste scarce resources on such waste.

Citizens of every country have virtually no control over how their tax revenue is spent.

Brazil is a Democracy, and the Olympics had broad public support when Rio won the right to host them.

Yes. And that nation should be Switzerland: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/01/opinion/01altekruse.html.

Good idea, but good lucking finding wide enough support for it. I think national and commercial interest will fight fiercely to keep the event moving because otherwise how would they "keep fostering investment" (producing lots of waste)?

It's not viewed as waste, though. It's viewed as investment. The infrastructure being built employs a lot of people in the lead-up, the public transport of the host city gets upgraded, it's an opportunity for the host city to become more well-known internationally and boost tourism for years afterward. Local businesses ought to do quite well out of it.

I'm not particularly a fan of the Olympics, but I can see why cities bid against each other to host it.

Just permanently assign it to Greece. After all....

Arguably, the appeal is how much money it brings in, and the economic benefits of people being paid to build all this and all of the tourists traveling in? Beyond the general prestige, of course.

Except that it usually isn't a net positive for the host country. The host country gets zero percent of the signage revenue, tv revenues, ticket sales, or merchandising revenue from the Olympics.

The only way the host country makes money from the Olympics is if tourists spend enough money on lodging, food, etc. That pipe dream hasn't worked out well for several countries who've recently hosted the games. The deal is so bad for the winter games that few countries are bidding it anymore.

There are similar parallels with professional sport leagues in the US. Maybe the whole thing is a combination of government officials looking for prestige, and a couple of mediocre economists rattling off numbers to back it up?

Absolutely. There are plenty of elected officials who want the prestige bestowed by hosting a big international event (e.g. Formula 1, World Cup, the Olympics), and I think many of them believe the idea that the potential tourism revenue justifies the expense. Many citizens fully believe the same thing.

It's only recently that more people are realizing that the numbers don't usually add up. Even then, lots of people are so passionate about sports that they simply don't care about how much public money is poured into a black hole to host these events (or build stadiums). And that's not even getting into the corruption.

What, like the London Olympics in 2012? Did that bring in £20+ billion? Funny - I didn't notice my taxes being reduced or anything; just a few weeks of roadworks and unpopular sports being shown on TV.

Mostly because £20 billion is about 4-5% of the budget in 2014 and that year there ware a deficit of £84 Billion.

If the infrastructure being built isn't disposable, then it makes a lot of sense. For example, building a new transit line to the airport would make a lot of sense.

Building a gigantic temporary stadium does not.

I call dibs on Winter Olympics in Antarctica!

Or, how can we have a moveable infrastructure that probably isn't worth investing in.

Certainly not the UN either, though.

I nominate a portion of the Midwestern United States. It'd be great for the economies of that area to have business every 4 years.

The midwestern states host 60 million Americans and such cities as Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Detroit, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Omaha, St. Louis, and Wichita.

Surely you aren't serious in suggesting that no economic activity of note occurs there and that these 12 states need the Olympics as a quadrennial boost to business?

> "Billions of dollars spent with a moving olympics and all the infrastructure ends up not being used for pretty much anything ever again."

I disagree. Most of the stadiums built for olympics are bringing kids to sports and introducing them to sport activities that nobody even heard before. And every national championship is held at those venues for many years after olympics.

More like vacant white elephants that continue to suck down millions in maintenance fees for years later. https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2015/aug/22/birds-nes...

Oh, well, the Olympics are more than just a single stadium, though. If you do a quick google search for "Abandoned Olympic Venues" you'll discover that although some infrastructure can be reused, a great deal is not.

As a spectator and not a competitor, I'd be far more concerned about the crime in Rio.

It's tough to know what's really going on with their crime (given our sensationalist media and my not living there)... but you couldn't pay me enough money to go to the 2016 Olympics.

Rio can be a bad place. When I went to Rio for the world Cup, my taxi driver from the airport told me that at night we would not stop at red lights for fear of being robbed. The ticket he would get would be less money would be less than the money he made that night.

That being said, I stayed on the boardwalk of copacabana Beach at a hotel and there was never a problem day or night. If you stay in the tourist sections, the post guards and the area is very safe

> but you couldn't pay me enough money to go to the 2016 Olympics.

Weelllll, with enough money you could hire body guards, or just not worry about how much is stolen from you :)

I know you're messing around, but that's a lot of unnecessary risk for a reward that I can just delay for four or eight years when the Olympics are in a reasonable country.

The concern isn't for the spectators or competitors but for the rest of the world as both return home and accelerate the spread of the Zika virus.

I find it interesting that James Burke, in an interview some years after his Connections series, discussing how he'd continue the series, said of the jet airline that he'd explore its role as a vector of international disease transmission.


Did he stay true to his word?

He's not produced another TV series so far as I know.

He has been pursuing his knowledge-web concept for the past couple of decades, though I also get the feeling his game's slipped a bit. The first Connections and The Day the Universe Changed are really his best work. Both remain quite relevant to this day.

The Knowledge Web concept is ... interesting, but of itself I don't find it quite so fundamental or useful as the concepts of Connections & TDTUC.

On the other hand, you remind me that sinks and unintended consequences seem to be particularly potent late-stage factors in technological revolutions.

Imagine athletes from poorer states take it back to their countries which don't have good healthcare infrastructure and it becomes an uncontrollable epidemic there. A very real possibility of Half a Million people taking the virus back to every city on the planet and all they are saying is we'll use mosquito repellents near the stadiums and hotels and everything will be fine.

I understand that there's a lot of money and sunk cost at stake for Brazil and IOC but their adamance over this is dangerous.

It's amazing that neither the article nor the 100+ comments take into account that the Olympics will occur in August, which is winter in Brazil. Truly Rio doesn't freeze but historical numbers of dengue infections for example are the lowest during that month. By a factor of 300 in some data. Of course 1 infection is one too much, but if weather comes in as it usually does, August won't see many mosquitoes attending the olympics.

It seems like there are a laundry list of reasons not to have the Olympics in Brazil this year:

  * Zika
  * President was impeached, rampant corruption farther down
  * Crime and social unrest arising from the massive amount of money spent on Olympics vs social programs
  * Reports of pollution making watersports unsafe
But the Olympics will definitely happen there, of course. Too much money already spent or planned to be spent.

113 of the 149 experts are from the US and Canada. 3 are from South America. Dunno, but it seems that a large portion of the rest of the world's experts doesn't care or doesn't see it this way.

Also, the Olympics are a billion dollar business. Billions of dollars VS faster spreading of Zika. Billions. They aren't going to postpone it.

This is ludicrous.

But you are accusing a bunch of scientist,s just because they're from the US and a Canada, is doing the same thing you're accusing them of (except you have no proof, and in fact it probably has more to do with social connections and organizations than anything.)

If anything, I would be more skeptical if any Brazillian scientists said "It's fine, Zika is not a problem, come to the Olympics." Because as you said, Billions. (And note, I'm not saying this is happening, just explaining an idea).

[engage cynic mode ...]

And health care is a trillion dollar business, so don't cancel the Olympics, instead buy call options on the various pharma companies that might provide a vaccine soonest and invest in any lab that is working on a fast blood test for keeping the blood supply clean.


Random questions I don't see coming up in the news coverage, does anyone know how long Zika remains in the blood stream post infection? Are you immune once you've had it once? What are the risks to pregnant women a year after they have been infected?

Last time I saw an expert address any of your questions was a couple months ago, and it sounded like nobody yet had answers. https://www.reddit.com/r/science/comments/49nssw/plos_scienc...

The article says the risks extend beyond just pregnant women:

"The virus has also been linked to neurological disorders in adults."

But clearly the neurological disorders are rare, as Brazil has had saturation level Zika exposure and a noted uptick in birth defects, it has not had a similarly sized (or even noted that I can find) uptick in neurological disorders.

This is made even more interesting because the set of people who have contracted the virus and have brains, is significantly larger than the set of people who have contracted the virus and are pregnant (which is a proper subset of the above group). So from a risk perspective it seems less of an issue than West Nile in men/non-pregnant women.

The time from infection to clinical presentation is likely to be a lot longer in the case of a neurological disorder which effects adults than in utero consequences.

If there is a substantial increase in neurological sequelae, we're likely to only see this uptick several years from now.

If it means it will be a 10s of millions of dollars business this year instead of a billion dollar business because of concern of travel to the olympic site then it might. Although most of the money isn't coming from visitors, but from television. I would definitely stand with athletes concerned with their personal health if they were to boycott. At least a few have expressed concern and intent to avoid this year's olympics.

So you are calling those 133 people racist?

They say it's too hot in Qatar to hold the World Cup too, but you can't argue with money.

Well, they did move the World Cup to the Winter thus, causing the domestic leagues in Europe to lose plenty of money.

Can anything really stop the worldwide spread at this point? Even without the olympics, it's already throughout Latin America, which sees plenty of travelers on aggregate

You wouldn't stop the worldwide spread -- just delay it. This was mentioned in the Harvard Public Health Review [1].

Time is important, here, because scientists are racing the spread of Zika to develop eg vaccines.

[1] http://harvardpublichealthreview.org/off-the-podium-why-rios...

Plague Inc. players know how Olympics helps to spread the disease.

Won't someone think of the sponsors!?

Not if the olympics aren't held.

And buy their products.

CDC: Zika Transmission Risks:

Through mosquito bites, From mother to child, Through sexual contact, Through blood transfusion.

"... Anyone who lives in or travels to an area where Zika virus is found and has not already been infected with Zika virus can get it from mosquito bites. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections. ..."


What is the incubation period? Surely the window of contagion is fairly small -- a few weeks?

Considering Zika is rarely ever deadly (has anyone died from it yet?), what is the point of a vaccine? Just give everyone the disease (excluding pregnant woman of course).

I don't think that will work well.

Everyone (except pregnant women) => Virtually all mosquitoes => Pregnant women

I'd like to know how reliable the data on Rio is. Are there more Zika infections than in the poor north eastern part of Brazil or are (suspected) cases just much more like to be reported due to easier access to qualified medical care? Is distribution in Rio uniform or does it mostly concern very poor areas which are very unlikely to be visited by tourists anyway?

NB: The dengue data they refer to[1] shows a sharp decline in infections from May on, at the end of the wet season (obviously inferring from 2015 data).

[1] http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/dlstatic/10112/5880996/4153672/deng...

Too much money is at stake (advertisers, networks, etc) for the Olympics to be postponed, but if they move it, I wonder if there is anywhere in the world that could be ready to host it at that time. London deconstructed much of their infrastructure, so they're out. Beijing perhaps? Honestly, Los Angeles could probably handle it by housing the athletes at UCLA and USC and expanding the geographic range of events down to San Diego and up towards Santa Barbara.

Moving it seems like a mammoth task. Think of all the flight & hotel bookings that would change. The disruption it would cause makes it near impossible that it will be changed now, I think.

I don't mean to suggest that it wouldn't be worth cancelling or changing if the health risk is so big, just that (like with climate change), humans have a disorder when it comes to this sort of thing.

Oh, I'm not suggesting it would be easy. The logistics alone make it near impossible, as the hotels and airlines would need to be comped. I was speaking specifically about whether or not it would even be feasible to move it based solely on having a location that has the infrastructure to support it.

I have no problem with the Olympics as long as we realize that it is a party, a festival, a celebration. I don't expect my parties to turn a profit. If people can agree to it while understanding the cost, fine; but I am tired of demagogues telling democracies that everything they propose will "bend the cost curve down" and result in lower taxes, higher revenues, and cheaper everything.

Portugal has strong links to Brazil, as they both speak the same language.

Looks like this is leading to a slow rise in Zika in portugal. http://www.reuters.com/article/health-zika-portugal-idUSKCN0...

Great.... I'm in Portugal! Dammit.

The problem with the "news" covering this is they are going to do the same thing they do with hurricanes.

They will hype it in such a way that a serious threat becomes a joke and ignored by those that see the topic being treated as clickbait.

You know what... I downvoted you, but I think I misunderstood.

Are you saying that Zika and hurricanes are not really a big deal but are made to seem so by the press... or that they are a big deal and the press poisons people against properly responding?

That the press poisons people by excessive and irresponsible overreaction.

They are definitely dangers but instead of calm, logical, limited presentation of the problem, the press goes insane and turn people off to the issue.

I believe the second one is his point. But sometimes for some events the first part is correct too, not in this case though.

Interesting: CDC chief says not to postpone: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-36401150

If pregnant, don't go to Brazil. If not pregnant, don't conceive child while in Brazil.

I don't really see the issue, here.

That and the coup.

Experts say a lot of things but that does not mean we gotta listen to them. American public education system is run by Experts remember ?

Without downvoting, please remind me again why we need Olympics in this modern day and age?

> in this modern day and age?

Without addressing the Olympics question directly, that question has 2 common and somewhat overlooked fallacies:

* That a current year has the most importance compared to previous years because of its sequence. If we consider how people have thought about their own current year we can see that they also have thought that their current year has the most importance.

* That progress has happened and that progress always occurs and moves in an upwards direction. I suggest that looking at history can give insights into how progress does not inexorably increase and improve year upon year. Initially it may appear nihilistic or anti-progress, but I believe thinking this way gives humans more insight into maintaining fragile societies and to ensure that our worlds do get better, through hard work, and not through some automatic procedure that works via the passage of years.

I hope this helps answer the question in a more helpful and better way.

I live in the Pacific Northwest, and for a brief moment I parsed this as the Olympic Mountains.

wth, are pregnant women competing in Olympics?

It's unknown how long a Zika infection puts one at risk for negative birth outcomes. There are a number of young women competing in the Olympics who would like to have children.

Then there's the partners of male Olympic athletes (who might either visit to cheer on their partner or get it from sexual contact), tourists, etc.

Anyone can get infected, travel back to their country and pass on the virus through mosquito bites.

Not true - Zika is spread by a specific mosquito species (Aedes aegypt) that is not found everywhere[1]

1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aedes_aegypti#/media/File:Glob...

Zika can also be transmitted by sex.

Zika also sometimes causes Guillain-Barré syndrome.

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