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Sascoc aware of concerns around Zika ahead of Olympic Games

Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy says his organisation will take guidance from the Health Department.

Aedes aegypti mosquitos are photographed in a laboratory at the University of El Salvador, in San Salvador, on 3 February 2016. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) says it's aware of concerns around the Zika virus in Brazil ahead of the Olympic Games and says it is in constant communication with the World Health Organisation (WHO).

In a letter to the WHO, 150 experts are calling for authorities to move or postpone the Olympics in Rio later this year because of the virus.

But the WHO says there is no public health justification to do so and it has issued new instructions on how to avoid contracting Zika, which causes severe birth defects.

Sascoc CEO Tubby Reddy says his organisation will take guidance from the Health Department.

"We are concerned like most nations of the world. We are engaging with the organising committee in Rio and in constant engagement with our health authorities in the country."

Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi says he's not worried.

"As ministers of health all over the world representing all 194 countries under the United Nations, we took queue from the WHO saying they don't think cancelling the Olympics will help, apart from satisfying ourselves emotionally."