Zika threat

“GO, enjoy your games in Brazil and watch out for the Zika virus.”

A sound warning from Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor to the TFL Fijiana team while naming the final 12-member team to the next leg of the HSBC World Rugby Women’s Sevens Series at the Uprising Beach Resort in Pacific Harbour yesterday.

The Fijiana is headed to Sao Paulo in Brazil, the nation where the Zika virus is thought to have originated from.

O’Connor said they needed to take precaution ahead of next weekend’s tournament in Sao Paulo.

Fiji Rugby director women’s coaching Chris Cracknell said the management had taken measures to counter the Zika threat.

“We have a medical team who have come to speak to us in the week,” he said.

“The girls know the precautionary measures we got to take while away in Brazil.

“We will know the situation as we will be briefed on the updates before the tournament.”

The former England 7s skipper said the management were not going to let the Zika situation get in the way of an Olympic medal.

And as a result the girls have been instructed to wear mosquito repellent and avoid going out at night.

“In the evening they will wear deep spray and no risk will be taken by going out in the night. So we are not going to allow a situation where mosquitoes can bite,” Cracknell said.

He said the girls were professionals and looked after themselves.

According to World Health Organisation, the Zika virus is transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes. Zika symptoms can include mild fever, skin rashes, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache and normally last up to seven days.

Meanwhile the Sao Paulo tournament starts from March 21 with the girls to face Australia in their first game.

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