Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ministry screening Rio athletes for Zika virus

Ministry screening Rio athletes for Zika virus

Taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey and other members of the Cambodian Olympic team return to Phnom Penh last week.
Taekwondo star Sorn Seavmey and other members of the Cambodian Olympic team return to Phnom Penh last week. Sreng Meng Srun

Ministry screening Rio athletes for Zika virus

Cambodian athletes are being screened for Zika after returning from the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and health officials will monitor their health for two weeks in order to minimise any possible transmission, an official with the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

Chances of athletes being infected with the mosquito-borne illness are low, but officials had to take precautionary measures, said Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann.

Sixteen people were screened for Zika symptoms on Thursday after arriving in the Kingdom. Brazil has been ground zero for the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects.

“No one showed any symptoms,” said Sovann. “We will follow their health for two weeks.”

However, no blood or other bodily fluid tests were conducted, which didn’t comfort Nhan Sokvisal, games coordinator for the National Olympic Committee of Cambodia and deputy chief for the Rio games mission. A blood test would eliminate any doubts, he said.

“We would have no questions,” he said. “We would feel . . . better.”

According to the WHO, the incubation period for Zika is not clear, but symptoms are likely to appear within a few days after becoming infected.

Health officials followed WHO’s recommendations for the screening, Sovann said.

Athletes were also educated on Zika and told to immediately contact health officials if they experience any symptoms.

Cambodia saw its last Zika case in 2010.

MOST VIEWED

  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not