The Fastest Man on Earth Says Even the Zika Virus Can't Catch Him

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Six-time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, is in the midst of preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the Zika virus is far from his list of concerns.

neurology, hospital medicine, emergency medicine, infectious disease, Zika virus, mosquito-borne illness, Summer Olympics 2016, Brazil

Six-time Olympic gold medalist, Usain Bolt, is in the midst of preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but the Zika virus is far from his list of concerns.

NBC’s Peter Alexander interviewed Bolt in his home country of Jamaica for the May 18th airing of the TODAY show.

When Alexander asked why Bolt’s teammates said that the mosquitoes stayed away from him, he laughed, “Because I’m fast. They can’t catch me though.”

Bolt, who is training to be the first person to win first place in the 100-meter and 200-meter races in three consecutive Olympics, says that he’s not stressed about Zika. “Hopefully by the time we get there they’ll have it under control,” he said.

  • Related: Nearly 200 US Pregnant Women Confirmed with Zika

The current Zika virus outbreak all started in Brazil in May 2015. When a significant amount of children began being born with smaller-than-normal head and brain sizes, called microcephaly, officials began to put two and two together. Research also indicates that Zika can cause a potentially paralyzing condition, Guillain-Barré syndrome.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put a Level 2 — Practice Enhance Precautions alert for those traveling to Brazil. While there is no vaccine for the illness, officials recommend scheduling a doctor’s appointment four to six weeks before departing. As for pregnant women, “Do not go to the Olympics,” the CDC advises.

The Olympics are still set to press on in Brazil this August, so let’s hope that Bolt (and every other competitor and attendee, for that matter) is in fact fast enough to outrun the mosquitoes.

Also on MD Magazine >>> Cashing in on Zika One Insect Repellent at a Time

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