The New York Times has published an amusing report describing the state of Zika virus-related anxiety among Olympic athletes, coaches, and their families.
The article focuses on John Speraw, the 44-year old coach of the U.S. men’s indoor volleyball squad. Speraw is freezing his sperm because he is afraid of passing Zika along to his wife when they try to get pregnant at some point in the near future.
“My wife and I would like to have another kid,” he said recently at U.S.A. Volleyball’s training center. “And I’m no spring chicken. I don’t want to get Zika and have to wait an additional year, or whatever it may be, for us to have kids. I’m paying attention to Zika, and I’m concerned about it. It’s not going to stop me from going down there, but I’m taking measures right now.”
Zika, which is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito, is linked to thousands of birth defects in Brazil. In some cases, the virus has been transmitted sexually. Aedes aegypti populations are expected to drop drastically by August—Brazilian winter.
The World Health Organization has said that everyone except for pregnant women should feel safe attending the Rio Olympics, but local organizers are handing out 450,000 condoms during the Games—three times as many as in London.