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Russian health minister: ZIKA hazard is exaggerated

February 08, 15:15 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Russian Health Minister said she did not expect individual athletes or countries to miss the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for fear of getting infected with the ZIKA virus
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© AP Photo/Leo Correa

MOSCOW, February 8 /TASS/. The Zika virus hazard is strongly exaggerated, Russian Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova told journalists on Monday. She said she did not expect individual athletes or countries to miss the summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for fear of catching the ZIKA fever.

Previous media reports said referring to a US National Olympic Committee source that U.S. athletes could miss the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) because of the Zika epidemic in that Latin American country.

"We believe that the virus danger is being hyperbolized. I do not think that any of the athletes or countries are likely to cancel their trips to the Olympics," Skvortsova said.

She added that many mass events, including sport events like the Olympics, had taken place in countries hit by various diseases

"It’s not just the Zika virus but Dengue fever, which is a much more serious illness with harder symptoms," Skvortsova said.

The Olympic Summer Games will take place in Brazil in August 2016.

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