Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff has decided to go ahead with the Rio Olympics, despite the Zika virus outbreak.
The Zika virus has infected 1.5 million people across Latin America and the Caribbean since early 2015 and while it only causes mild flu-like symptoms in most cases, it has been linked to 41 cases of mircoephaly in new born babies (abnormally small heads and brains) and 3 deaths.
Despite the terrifying stats, President Rousseff has vowed the situation would not comprise the Olympics in August.
“We are confident that until the Olympics begin we will have considerable success in exterminating [the Aedes aegypti mosquito that transmits the virus],” she said.
Rio de Janeiro is set to host the Summer games from August 5 to 21, bringing in people from around the world.
Over 200,000 soldiers have been deployed across Brazil to warn and educate residents about the Zika virus.
Their newest efforts involved handing out leaflets with the slogan “a mosquito is not stronger than an entire country” and advising residents to keep water tanks covered, turn open bottle upside down and store tyres in places they could not collect water.
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, Brazil recorded 462 cases of microcephaly between October and February, compared with an annual average of 150 cases. The World Health Organisation has declared the rise in Zika-linked birth defects an international emergency.
There is currently no cure or vaccine for Zika.