Olympic Games Rio 2016 and the uninvited viruses: Potential consequences for Europe and North America


Salim Mattar V
Marco González Tous
In the Latin American tropics, we have witnessed the emergence of several pathogenic arboviruses in the last decade. These include Yellow Fever, West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Mayaro, Oropouche, Ilheus, and most recently, Chikungunya and Zika. Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS), microcephaly and all the encephalitides, have been of concern to public health officials in Latin America since the arrival of emerging arboviruses. ¡Don‘t forget about dengue! Between 2014 and 2015 we received two unexpected and uninvited viruses: Chikungunya and Zika. Chikungunya, an alphavirus, appeared abruptly in developing countries of the Americas, revealing that we were not prepared to face it. While we were still recovering from Chikungunya, Zika virus arrived, only compounding the insult. One cannot imagine the potential impact of the introduction of a hemorrhagic virus of the likes of Marburg or Ebola in Latin America. This scenario would be catastrophic.
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