Experts ask World Health Organization to consider moving Rio Olympics

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LONDON — A group of public health experts have urged the World Health Organization to consider whether the Rio de Janeiro Olympics should be postponed or moved because of the Zika outbreak.

An open letter to the U.N. health agency, signed by almost 150 public health experts, calls for the games to be delayed or relocated “in the name of public health.”

It cites recent scientific evidence that the Zika virus causes severe birth defects, most notably babies born with abnormally small heads. In adults, it can cause a rare and sometimes fatal neurological syndrome.

Several public health academics have previously warned that hundreds of thousands of people heading to the Aug. 5-21 games in Brazil will lead to brain-damaged babies and speed up the virus’ global spread.