Zika Virus: The Topic That Should Not Be Forgotten in Sport Medicine

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Excerpt

The publication on Zika virus is very interesting (1). Pyzocha et al. (1) noted that “Diagnosis should be suspected in individuals with the appropriate symptomatology and exposure history” (1) and “Prevention and education is key in decreasing the spread of disease.” In fact, the diagnosis of Zika virus infection is usually difficult because most patients have no symptoms, and the history of exposure might not be available (4). Like other arbovirus infections, the most effective way to prevent the disease is still not available. Mosquito protection through wearing smart clothing and avoiding travel to endemic areas is generally recommended (2,3). In sports medicine, there also are many additional concerns that should be mentioned. First, mosquito prevention in sport stadiums and training camps is needed. Of interest, there has never been any report on the surveillance of mosquito vectors in those sites. Second, the avoidance of travelling to endemic areas might not be applicable to the athlete. Additionally, the athlete usually can not wear the protective smart clothing for prevention of mosquito bites during the competition or training. Toresdahl and Asif noted that “ensuring the safety of the athletes during training and competition is the primary role of the team physician” (3) and “special consideration is needed for sports teams preparing for travel to areas affected by Zika virus” (3).

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