South Korean Olympians to wear mosquito repellent uniform at Rio Olympics

Apr 29, 2016 09:00 IST

South Korea on 27 April 2016 announced that its Olympic athletes will wear uniforms that have been infused with insect repellent to keep mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus at bay.

The South Korean team's uniforms were unveiled in Seoul, marking 100 days until the opening ceremony in Brazil.

These formal long-sleeved shirts and trousers containing mosquito repellent will be worn by the South Korean athletes during ceremonies and at the athletes' village at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

• The uniforms are meant to ward off mosquito-borne transmission of the Zika virus.

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

Background

The decision to use mosquito repellent uniform during the Rio games was taken out of concern over the spread of the Zika virus. The virus is spread by daytime-active Aedes mosquitoes.

Earlier in April 2016, representatives of the South Korean Olympic organisation and the government visited Rio to inspect venues, athletes' facilities and local hospitals. Brazil has reported about 1.5 million Zika infections out of a worldwide total of about 2 million.

The disease has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation. It can causes babies of infected mothers to be born with microcephaly and other severe brain problems. The Brazilian government has warned pregnant women to stay away from the Games.

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