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Three athletes from Ebola affected states barred from Youth Olympics

August 15, 2014, 11:44 UTC+3 GENEVA
The Second Youth Olympic Games will be held in Nanjing on August 16 - 28
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© EPA/STR

GENEVA, August 15./ITAR-TASS/. Three athletes from the countries with Ebola cases detected have been debarred from participating in the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, goes the International Olympic Committee (IOC) press release.

Two athletes were expected to compete in a fighting sport, one - in water sports. The countries are not disclosed but are reported to be located in West Africa.

According to the press release, the IOC and the World Health Organization (WHO) closely cooperate with the Chinese healthcare bodies and infection risk is extremely low.

“The Chinese authorities are fully prepared should any outbreak occur,” goes the document. “We regret that due to this issue some young athletes may have suffered twice, both from the anguish caused by the outbreak in their home countries and by not being able to compete in the Youth Olympic Games.”

Each of the National Olympic Committees affected, if they wish, can have “their national flag brought into the stadium at the opening ceremony and will be hoisted at the venues”.

A week ago, the WHO declared Ebola an international healthcare emergency. The dangerous disease has the highest death toll in Guinea where it claimed 377 lives; 355 died in Liberia, 334 in Sierra Leone. The death count in Nigeria, Africa’s most densely populated country, rose to three.

The Second Youth Olympic Games will be held in Nanjing on August 16 - 28.

The current EVD outbreak began in Guinea in December 2013. This outbreak now involves transmission in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) was first reported in 1976 in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and got its name from the river near which the first outbreak occurred.

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