S. Korea Gives Zika-Proof Gear to Olympians

     (CN) — South Korea’s Olympic committee unveiled a strategy this week to protect its athletes from the Zika virus at this year’s summer games in Rio de Janeiro: mosquito-repellent uniforms.
     The uniforms use mosquito-repellent chemicals along with long-sleeved shirts, jackets and long pants. The athletes will wear the uniforms during training, ceremonies and at the athletes’ village.
     However, the South Korean team won’t be able to wear the treated gear during competition due to Olympic rules and potential performance issues. Standard mosquito repellent can be used during competition.
     Brazil has been one of the nations most affected by the mosquito-borne Zika virus. Pregnant women are most at risk, since the virus can cause congenital brain defects and microcephaly, a condition that results in a baby having a smaller than normal head and potential brain damage.
     The Summer Olympics begin in Rio in August.
     Several Olympic athletes and participating countries have expressed concern about attending the games due to the Brazil’s inability to contain the spread of Zika.
     A group of Olympic officials and members of the South Korean government visited Rio de Janeiro earlier this month to inspect local hospitals and Olympic venues. The Korean Olympic Committee is expected to provide advice on avoiding Zika to athletes and others traveling to the games.
     U.S. Olympic officials meanwhile revealed this week that the United States team will wear outfits designed by Ralph Lauren at the opening and closing ceremonies that include chino shorts.

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