More than 150 prominent scientists worldwide send a letter to World Health Organization Director-General Margaret Chan calling for the postponement or relocation of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics because of the widening Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, despite U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden's statement yesterday that "there is no public health reason to cancel or delay the Olympics."
Health officials are concerned about the spread of the Zika virus in Haiti, which suffered the worst epidemic of cholera in recent history following the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports there are 2,214 suspected cases as of April 23. But new research indicates the virus has been present since 2014. The actual infection rate remains unknown since the poor, densely populated nation lacks routine data systems that can track and document disease outbreaks.
At least two people are killed after an oceanfront stretch of an elevated bike lane in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, collapses when it was hit by a strong wave. Two other people were rescued alive, while another may be missing. The bike lane was among the projects built in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics. No Olympic event will be held on the path.
The World Health Organization cautions pregnant women against traveling to areas where there is ongoing transmission of Zika virus, echoing earlier alerts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other health agencies in areas where virus infection has been prevalent. Director General Margaret Chan says evidence strongly suggests sexual transmission is more common than previously assumed.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns pregnant women against visiting 14 countries and territories in South America, Central America and the Caribbean due to the Zika virus outbreak.
Three men are arrested for allegedly raping and robbing a foreign tourist on a minibus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, amid concerns about security before the country hosts 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics.