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Zika virus "part of Adam Scott's concerns" on Rio

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Adam Scott admits he harbours fears for the health of world No.1 and friend Jason Day as well as everyone involved with the Olympic Games.

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Scott would not be playing in Rio regardless of the Zika virus causing havoc for Rio organisers but the Australian golf star hopes those involved are taking the warnings and risks seriously.

The Queenslander pulled his name from Olympic consideration mainly for scheduling reasons, preferring to prioritise time with his young family around the last two major championships and FedEx Cup playoffs.

But he also has serious concerns about the mosquito-borne Zika virus and the implications it could have for world health in general.

“I have not used it as an excuse although it would be very convenient to do so. It is only part of my concerns,” Scott said.

“I will say when the World Health Organisation has serious concerns over the impact that hundreds of thousands of people flooding into Rio is going to have I think we should listen.

“Clearly traditional Olympic athletes are in a very awkward situation. They’ve trained so hard for this and it is everything that they’ve dreamed of and for a health epidemic to get in the way, I understand why they are still trying to go.

“But it has to be treated seriously and I just don’t think it is. It hasn’t really got major traction yet and I am amazed by that.”

Scott referenced a recent opinion of Canadian public health expert Amir Attaran who was quoted in the Harvard Public Health Review suggesting a global epidemic could stem from the games.

With the virus spread via mosquitoes or sexual contact, the potential for it to hit all corners of the globe is high.

Already major league baseball in the USA has cancelled a series of games due to be played in Puerto Rico over Zika concerns.

Attaran added further thoughts to the CBC website, calling for the games to be stopped and likening it to playing in a nuclear zone.

“The problem is we’re essentially faced with a situation of games versus health,” Attaran said.

“And to me, it’s very clear that you don’t play games so as to wreck the health of the world, which is very possibly the outcome.

“I characterise it as potentially catastrophic, extremely negligent, ill-considered and inconsistent with the scientific evidence.

“It’s a bit like saying: ‘We’re holding the Games in Fukushima. Protect yourself. Wear a lead suit. It will all be fine.”

Fellow Australian Marc Leishman has declined participation solely on Zika fears, with his wife still recovering from a near fatal bout of toxic shock syndrome.

-AAP

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