Experts ask WHO to consider moving Rio Olympics


FILE - In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, health workers get ready to spray insecticide to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmits the Zika virus, under the bleachers of the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, which will be used for the Archery competition in the 2016 summer games. More than 145 public health experts signed an open letter to the World Health Organization on Friday, May 27, 2016 asking the U.N. health agency to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the ongoing Zika outbreak. The letter calls for the games to be delayed or relocated in the name of public health. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, May 26, 2016, on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


LONDON (AP) — A group of public health experts have urged the World Health Organization to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak.

An open letter to the U.N. health agency, signed by almost 150 public health experts, calls for the games to be delayed or relocated “in the name of public health.”

It cites recent scientific evidence that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects, most notably babies born with abnormally small heads. In adults, it can cause a rare and sometimes fatal neurological syndrome.

Several public health academics have previously warned that hundreds of thousands of people heading to the Aug. 5-21 games in Brazil will lead to brain-damaged babies and speed up the virus’ global spread.

FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, health workers get ready to spray insecticide to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmits the Zika virus, under the bleachers of the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, which will be used for the Archery competition in the 2016 summer games. More than 145 public health experts signed an open letter to the World Health Organization on Friday, May 27, 2016 asking the U.N. health agency to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the ongoing Zika outbreak. The letter calls for the games to be delayed or relocated in the name of public health. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110577168-93a4e156e97d47ba8fa5992dd6bb1895.jpgFILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2016 file photo, health workers get ready to spray insecticide to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmits the Zika virus, under the bleachers of the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, which will be used for the Archery competition in the 2016 summer games. More than 145 public health experts signed an open letter to the World Health Organization on Friday, May 27, 2016 asking the U.N. health agency to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the ongoing Zika outbreak. The letter calls for the games to be delayed or relocated in the name of public health. (AP Photo/Leo Correa, File)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, May 26, 2016, on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
http://wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_110577168-80e747d384dd4ac28ce8026ea297a30c.jpgCenters for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Thomas Frieden speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, May 26, 2016, on the latest research and forecasts on the Zika virus. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
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