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South Korean Olympians to Wear Mosquito-Repellent Uniforms

  • VOA News

FILE - The Aedes Aegypti mosquito photographed at a laboratory of the Ministry of Health of El Salvador in San Salvador, Feb. 7, 2016.

FILE - The Aedes Aegypti mosquito photographed at a laboratory of the Ministry of Health of El Salvador in San Salvador, Feb. 7, 2016.

South Korea has announced its Olympic athletes will wear long-sleeved shirts and pants containing mosquito repellent for ceremonies and training during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

The uniforms are meant to ward off mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus, which causes only mild symptoms in most people but can cause birth defects when pregnant women are infected.

The virus has also been found to be sexually transmissible, meaning an infected athlete, while not pregnant, could bring the virus home and pass it on to a partner.

Athletes cannot wear the protective clothing while competing, but they will be allowed to use mosquito repellent.

Brazil has reported about 1.5 million Zika infections out of a worldwide total of about 2 million.

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