Australian representatives at the Rio Olympic Games will now have an extra anti-Zika device in their arsenal and it isn’t another can of Bushmans.
Organisers from the Australian Olympic Committee are providing our athletes with special antiviral condoms in order to help prevent against the sexual transmission of the disease.
Little concrete evidence exists about the virus, but according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the use of a condom of any description provides some barrier of protection between sexual partners.
The Dual Protect VivaGel variety to be handed to the Olympic team meanwhile, contain an added antiviral lubricant that has “showed near-complete antiviral protection against Zika virus in laboratory studies” according to a press release.
It has been proven that men infected with Zika can pass the virus onto their sexual partners and the CDC recommends that the only way to ensure you do not contract Zika through intercourse is to abstain from it altogether.
With the recent outbreak of the mosquito carried Zika virus and its links to severe fetal brain defects such as microcephaly, health has been a major issue of contention surrounding the upcoming Rio Games.
However, the 2016 Australian Olympic Team's Medical Director Dr David Hughes believes our sportsmen and women can be confident all the appropriate measures to prevent the spread of the virus will be taken.
“If individuals take reasonable care as instructed, then I believe the risk to our team members will be minimal," Dr Hughes says.
"The last couple of people that I have spoken to, who have been to Rio in the past month or two, haven't seen a mosquito. If an Australian Olympic Team member does become unwell, then if they follow the advice in our advisory, the consequences of that infection will be minimal."