Zika Virus Transmission Risk During Olympics Is Low, CDC Says

Olympics travel is a fraction of overall travel to Zika-affected countries.

In a new risk-assessment report, the CDC found that since the games are occurring during winter in Brazil, the cooler, drier weather will reduce mosquito populations, thus lowering the chance of Zika transmission to visiting athletes and spectators.

CDC Director Tom Frieden addressed the report today, telling reporters there wasn't a large "public health reason to delay or change the games."

"Compared with all travel to Zika-endemic areas, the Olympics account for about one-tenth of 1 percent of travel from the U.S. and globally about one-quarter of 1 percent, so even if Olympics didn’t exist, 99.75 percent would be the same risk," he said.

The CDC continues to advise all pregnant women to avoid travel to any areas with ongoing Zika transmission due to the risk of birth defects and that others should take steps to protect themselves.

"Athletes and visitors to Rio de Janeiro and other Zika transmission areas should follow precautions to prevent exposure to the virus," the report authors said. "Specifically, all delegation members and visitors should take rigorous steps to reduce the likelihood of mosquito bites."