Olympic hopefuls express concerns about Brazil’s Zika outbreak

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Two Olympic hopefuls are training at Purdue University trying to make it to the Olympic Games in Brazil this summer, but many athletes have concerns about contracting the Zika virus.

Brazil is experiencing a surge of the mosquito-borne disease which causes flu-like symptoms. It can also cause birth defects in unborn children when pregnant women are infected.

Some athletes are refusing to compete in Brazil for fear of getting infected.

Olympic Gold medal diver David Boudia and current Boilermaker diver Steele Johnson are keeping their minds focused on making the team, but they both say concern about the virus is in the back of their minds.

Johnson says Zika fears are not keeping him from making the trip.

“I’m going to take the best precautions I can while I’m down there. I’m going to wear lots of bug spray. I’m going to try to avoid the mosquito bites,” Johnson said. “I don’t know too much about the Zika virus, unfortunately, I should be more educated on it but I’m not too worried.”

Boudia says he is planning to bring his wife with him to Brazil, and they are aware of the risks.

“It is a little scary. It’s a little intimidating,” Boudia said. “But at the end of the day, my wife knows what could happen and my family does too. We’re there to compete at the Olympic Games, and we’ll do everything we can to protect ourselves from it.”

Boudia says he and his wife are putting their family planning on hold until after they are positive the virus is no longer a threat.

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