WHO plays down Zika concerns

The World Health Organisation has played down suggestions that the Rio Olympic Games should be postponed.

The mosquito-borne disease has rocked the South American continent, with over 90 000 cases of the virus reported in Brazil alone between February and April.

Apart from several high profile athletes expressing their concerns, this week, 152 scientists wrote an open letter stating it would be unethical for the Games to go ahead. 

However, WHO's Dr Bruce Aylward indicated that they are carrying out a risk assessment programme "about this disease and the risks it poses both to individuals who get and those who might be subsequently exposed".

He added that the WHO has already heard from several independent experts about the risks of the disease.

"Those are two of the exact measures that that group has asked for and that is exactly what is being done, and clearly we need to have better communicated that," continued Aylward.

"All the information available today suggests that the games should definitely go ahead."

The Rio Olympic Games gets underway on August 5.