Is a mosquito about to take down the Olympics?
With barely a couple days before one of the biggest sporting extravaganza kick-starting in Rio de Janeiro, the authorities are bracing themselves to counter a great foe. Ironically, this grandest of enemies comes in the smallest of packages.
I can’t help but quote a Bollywood veteran Nana Patekar here, who manages to sum up this whole situation so aptly,
“Sala ek machar aadmi ko hijda bana deta hay!”
A tiny mosquito is enough to make a man impotent.
So yeah, even if you don’t fully concur with this perceptive pearl of B-Town wisdom, point is, this pesky lil’ gnat is more than capable of rendering a fully functional human completely paralysed.
The bug has been known to cause birth defects in babies of pregnant mothers infected by the germ.
There is always an inherent risk associated with mass gatherings of any sort and 2016 Olympics are no different. This might sound like a juicy plot for an epidemic thriller, but experts argue if medical officials in charge of the safety at the 2016 Games aren’t up to the challenge as they assume they are, then this untreatable viral pandemic has the potential to turn apocalyptic in no time.
“The rapidly evolving outbreak of Zika warns us that an old disease that slumbered for six decades in Africa and Asia can suddenly wake up on a new continent to cause a global health emergency,” she remarked.
So is Dr Chan right about the deadly repercussions or is she simply too old and senile for us to take her seriously. Well she has got a cohort in Dr Thomas Frieden, Director at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
So far Brazil stands defiant against the cynics and the mosquitoes. The games’ spokesman Mario Andrada asserted that cancellation or postponement of Olympics “has never been mentioned. No way”.
He confidently added that,
“It’s impossible to do that. There is no reason to do that.”
However, what we do know is that a huge number of travellers during these huge sporting events engage in unprotected casual sex – a major reason for the transmission of the disease. And with Rio’s notoriety for a carnival-like atmosphere, this fornication fiesta can quickly turn into a cataclysmic calamity.
Athletes who pulled out over Zika fears
Athletes who are concerned about the pandemic.
— Greg Rutherford (@GregJRutherford) June 7, 2016
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.