2016 Rio Olympics

Spain’s Pau Gasol considers freezing sperm to combat Zika Virus at Rio Olympics

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Photo courtesy: Christopher Johnson/Flickr.com

Spanish basketball star and multiple Olympic medalist Pau Gasol considers freezing his sperm over Zika fears before he travels to Rio to participate in the Olympics.

The shadow of Zika Virus looms large on the Rio Olympics and the athletes have started taking preventive measures. The prime reason for the increasing fear among the foreign athletes is that there is no vaccine.

“I’ve done a lot of research (on Zika), and it’s confirmed my fears, even if the risks are minimal,” the 35-year-old Chicago Bulls player said on Wednesday, according to the Today.

Zika is a mosquito borne virus which can lead to severe birth defects unless precautions are taken. In Brazil, 1.5 million are reportedly infected by the virus, and 13,00 babies are born with microcephaly.

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“Freezing sperm is one of the options that must be taken into account, and I will consider it if I go to the Games.” He added, “It’s good that there’s been a lot of debate and progress in terms of prevention, but the reality is still worrying.”

The multiple European champion is still undecided over his participation in the Rio Olympics. The Spanish star pointed out at the statistical forecast which predicts that out of 500 thousand visitors landing in Brazil, only one has the probability of getting infected.

“Once I’ve made my decision I will make it public,” he said.

Brazilian Health Minister Ricardo Barros has assured the foreign athletes that chances of getting infected by Zika in Rio is zero, in response to the growing international concern over the virus.

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Photo courtesy: Christopher Johnson/Flickr.com

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