Johannesburg : World number one Serena Williams has voiced her concern over the rapid spread of Zika virus in Brazil and vowed to head into the Rio Olympics with super protection.
Brazil has been most affected by the mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly through Latin America and the Caribbean. It is known to cause the head-shrinking microcephaly and other birth defects.
In an open letter to the WHO, a total of 150 health experts had said the current plans for the prestigious event need to be revised while citing growing scientific studies that revealed the adverse effects of the virus.
The WHO, however, turned down calls to move the Olympics venue, saying that moving the games would not have a major impact on the spread of Zika.
Reflecting on the health dangers posed by the Zika virus, the 34-year-old insisted it is something that has been on her mind and said that she will keep herself fully protected in the country,Sport24 reported.
Serena’s comments came after her hard-fought fight against French opponent Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 7-6 (12-10) to reach the last 16.
Earlier this month, the WHO had advised pregnant women to avoid travelling to Rio and urged athletes and visitors to wear body-covering clothing along with a slew of other precautionary measures.
The tennis event in upcoming Rio Games has already been hit by number of withdrawals with 17th-ranked John Isner, Austrian Dominic Thiem, Bernard Tomic and Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez all announcing their withdrawal from Olympics.(ANI)