Ko keeps a tab on Zika

Golf world number one Lydia Ko has dodged talk of a possible withdrawal from this year’s Rio Olympics but she says she will continue to monitor news of the mosquito-borne Zika virus sweeping across South America.

The New Zealander tiptoed around the issue of a possible Games pullout and said her concerns are for the people that have been hit by the virus.

Women’s golf will debut at the Olympics this year, while the men’s event returns for the first time since 1904.

Some 23 countries and territories in the Americas have been hit by the virus strongly linked to the devastating birth defect called microcephaly. Brazil, the hardest-hit country and hosts of the August 5-21 Games, has reported around 3700 cases of microcephaly which prevents fetus’ brain from developing properly. There is no vaccine or treatment.

“First of all we are more thinking about the people there, the people who are affected by it rather than what is going to happen (with the Olympics),” Ko told Singapore-based reporters on a conference call this week when asked if she was worried by the situation.

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