Dom Phillips – The Washington Post, 07/06/2016
RIO DE JANEIRO — A small but growing number of athletes, from golfer Rory McIlroy to cyclist Tejay van Garderen, have canceled their trips to the Summer Olympics in Rio due to fears about the Zika epidemic.
But what are the chances that visitors and athletes could become infected?
“Almost zero,” Brazil’s new health minister, Ricardo Barros, said recently. He and other officials note there are far fewer mosquitoes active in August, when the Games are being held, because it’s winter in the Southern Hemisphere. Already, reports of new cases have plunged in Rio state — from 3,000 to 3,500 a week earlier in the year to just 30 cases a week in June, officials say. Meanwhile, 80 percent of the city’s buildings have been inspected for mosquito breeding sites, authorities maintain.