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How Zika Virus Affected the Rio Olympics

How Zika Virus Affected the Rio Olympics


Zika virus is a dangerous disease caused by a virus which is usually transmitted by mosquitoes. Various symptoms are evident among people affected with Zika virus. They include mild fever, skin rashes, joint pain, muscle pain, and headache. The symptoms of Zika virus usually reveal in the limelight within 2-7 days after a person gets infected. There have been lots of scientific interventions to investigate the issue of the Zika virus. These investigations showed that the Zika virus is one of the leading causes of the microcephaly and the Guillain-Barre syndrome. Other scientific studies also link other neurological complications to the effects of the Zika virus. This article investigates the way the Zika virus affected the planning process during the Rio Olympics. As a result, some of the issues related to Zika virus management during the Rio Olympics include increased expenses, a lot of expertise required in the planning process, and protective measures to prevent the spread of the virus. The primary recommendation drawn from the article is to raise awareness when planning and executing an event, more especially, coming up with the initiatives to reduce the spread of diseases as well as the virus.

Key terms: Zika virus, Rio Olympics, events execution, coordination, events.

How Zika Virus Affected the Rio Olympics


Planning, coordinating and executing an event requires the application of various fields of study, especially project management. It encompasses various activities which include budgeting, scheduling process, and selection of the site as well as getting various permits which will help in ensuring that there is a proper coordination of events. Planning is essential because it helps ensure that events are successful and go as expected. It is very important to do these preparations prior to the event. The main aim is to ensure that activities are sustainable and, as a result, various aspects are considered. These include the social, economic as well as environmental issues during an event (Pernecky & Lueck, 2013). Olympics is an event that requires a high level of planning. During the Rio Olympics, organizers had to put a lot of preparations in place especially because the Zika virus threat existed. A lot of efforts needed to be put in place to inform people about the implications of the Zika virus and the ways to prevent themselves from getting infected. Hence, this was just a part of the preparation process.

How Zika Virus Affected Planning Process of Rio Olympics

Evidently, the Zika virus changed the execution process of the Rio Olympics. The events planning and implementation team had to put down measures to assure the people who were going to attend Rio in safety. They adopted strategy known as the communication and community education. It mainly involved coming up with an audience-research based messages as well as materials that would be necessary for educating the public on what to do to prevent mosquito bites and controlling mosquitoes during the Rio Olympics event (Malone & Homan, 2016). The strategy used was vector control as well as preventing the virus transmission through sex. The events and planning management team during the Rio Olympics did this through the support of news as well as social media to disseminate the essential information.

Again, the execution team members had to take strict measures that would help increase awareness of the Zika virus during the Rio Olympics event. They were determined to do this through advising people who were attending Olympics on what to do to avoid being affected by the virus. They were to do this through using mosquito repellants. Also, mosquito nets should be used during the night and insecticides should be duly sprayed in rooms not to attract mosquitoes (Bennett & Raphael, 2014). Again, the spectators who were attending the event were made aware of what to do if they find out or suspect that they are infected by the virus.

The Zika virus also negatively influenced the execution process of the Rio Olympics mainly because a lot of funds were used in the planning process. They also used some funds to apply the necessary strategies for the surveillance process. The funds would also be critical in putting measures for preventing vectors (vector control). They did this through providing technical expertise which would help in applying vector control strategies through proper mapping (Bennett & Raphael, 2014). They also introduced insecticide resistance measures as well as the vector control response within Rio and its environs.

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Due to the effects of the Zika virus, a high level of surveillance was a measure placed to prevent the spread of the virus at the Rio Olympics. Hence, this also affected the planning and execution process of the Rio Olympics in terms of time as well as resources. There was created a team which ensured the prevention of the virus. The surveillance program was also important in monitoring the progress of the infection as well as the rate of the virus spread.

Finally, the execution team also had to coordinate with the state on ensuring prevention of the virus during the Rio Olympics. According to Ramsborg & Miller (2008), it is important for any events management team to communicate properly with the state authorities during an event to prevent the spread of an infection. Robust and timely planning involving the government, experts as well as the public health sector was important and had an impact on the execution of the Rio Olympics. This would help ensure that the unified coordination groups were activated. The senior leaders from the federal governments assisted in providing a proper coordination, communication as well as information sharing among the key stakeholders during the Rio Olympics.

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From the analysis of the Zika virus threat at the Rio Olympics, it is evident that it profoundly affected the execution process mostly in terms of time and funds. It is, therefore, advisable for events planning, management, and executions teams to cater for the required funds beforehand in case any disaster or disease outbreak happens (Pernecky & Lueck, 2013). Therefore, it is imperative to control the spread of an infectious disease.

Additionally, during the Rio Olympics, the proper planning should have established an excellent communication within healthcare sector to ensure that diseases and viruses do not spread fast from one person to another (Ramsborg & Miller, 2008). Communications would also help the people attending the event to take safety measures not to not get infected by any disease.

Effective communication and coordination with the state is necessary, especially if it comes up with measures that will help reduce the impact as well as the spread of the virus during an event. Hence, this should have been guaranteed during the execution process of the Rio Olympics.

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In conclusion, it is evident that the Zika virus affected the Rio Olympics in one way or another. As much as the Zika virus influenced the preparation and execution process of the Olympics, it is evident that it was possible for the planning and coordination team to develop strategies which would prevent the spread of the virus. In the end, the plans worked out for them, and the event was successful. Again, ethical and legal considerations need to be put in place when mitigating a viral disease during any event execution. Therefore, this will be critical in ensuring that there is a proper coordination of plans during the implementation process to help in reducing the spread of the virus based on the health and safety standards. It is clear that a virus like Zika is likely to be spread in places where different people come from diverse regions and countries. Therefore, it is important to ensure that individuals have a medical report before they cross borders of any country. The prevention measure guarantees the safety for people living in the country.

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