On the pulse: Would you still go to the Rio Olympics despite the Zika virus outbreak?

In light of the news the Zika outbreak has been declared an international emergency by the World Health Organisation fears grow for the Rio Olympics.

With just six months to go until the Olympic opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro, there is a growing concern over the Zika virus, which has led to the World Health Organization declaring the Zika outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

The greatest worry is that the virus may be linked to babies being born with microcephaly, a devastating condition in which a baby is born with brain damage and an abnormally small head, although that tie has not been proven beyond doubt.

Since the first case of infection was reported back in October, there has been 4,000 cases of children being born with microcephaly – a twentyfold increase.

Athletes of a childbearing age and female spectators are being warned by medical professionals to rethink their Brazilian travel plans for fear of what could potentially happen to their unborn children.

We took to the streets of Wimbledon to find out if the people of south west London would travel to this summer’s Olympics despite the outbreak of the Zika virus.

With the outbreak of the Zika virus, would you travel to this summer’s Olympics?

Yes               No

20%              80%

Sinead Washington, 32, from Morden, who was shopping with her 17-month-old daughter, said: “No! I am actually expecting as well and there is no way I would go and put my child at risk.”

Sinead WashingtonSINEAD WASHINGTON: Would not put her child at risk

Expectant mother, Vicky Tait, 37, from Wimbledon echoed similar feelings and was worried about the danger it would pose to her unborn child.

Rabina Iqbal, 55, from Wimbledon, said: “No I wouldn’t. I don’t actually know a lot about it, but I would be very worried if I got it.”

Rabina IqbalRABINA IQBAL: Would be very worried 

Sam Tobin, 24, a student from Woolwich, said: “It seems really scary. I don’t know a lot about it but it does seem prohibitively dangerous right now.”

Sam TobinSAM TOBIN: Thinks it seems scary 

This opinion was reflected by Kumara Dealwis, a 45-year-old father from Wimbledon.

He said: “I would not go to Brazil, I have a young son and I would not want to take the risk.”

Kumara DealwisKUMARA DEALWIS: Would not go to Brazil for sake of his young son 

However, 22-year-old student Eliza Lilly who was visiting a friend in Wimbledon, said it was a risk she was willing to take.

“I am actually travelling to South America for three months over the summer and Brazil is one of the countries I am going to,” she said.

“Obviously I am concerned, but I am not going to cancel my trip because of it and it is a risk you take.”

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