• The 27-year-old is concerned about the Zika virus
• Masters champ Danny Willett also has worries
RORY MCILROY | THE OLYMPICS
Rory McIlroy has admitted he may yet choose to skip this year’s Olympic Games due to the growing concern of the Zika virus.
The four-time major winner said he’s ‘ready to go’ to Rio de Janeiro this August, but says the virus – which is linked to brain deformities in newborn babies – is a concern as he plans to start a family with fiancee Erica Stoll.
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“I’ve been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there are some articles that have come out saying that it might be worse than what they’re saying,” said Rory McIlroy in an interview with the BBC.
“So I have to monitor the situation because there’s going to be a point in time over the next couple of years where we’re going to have to think about starting a family and I don’t want anything to affect that.
"Right now I’m going, and I’m looking forward to it" - Rory McIlroy
“Right now, I’m ready to go to Rio and try to compete for an Olympic medal. I’m going to get my injections so at least I’ll be immunised if I do get bitten by a mosquito down there. Right now I’m going, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Danny Willett has also raised his concerns, saying that if heading to Rio de Janeiro puts his family at risk, he won't be making the trip.
“It’s not great, is it?" said Willett ahead of the BMW PGA Championship. "There’s going to be 500,000 people watching the Olympics and 11,000 athletes right in the heart of where it’s at.
“But I’m not a doctor – I don’t know the ins and outs of it but I’m going to have a sit down with the guys this week and double check everything. If it turns out that it would be a massive threat to myself, Nic or the little man, then I probably wouldn’t because family comes first. But, as it stands at the minute, we should be ok."
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The Olympic golf competition takes place from August 11-14 at the Olympic Golf Course at Reserva de Marapendi in Barra da Tijuca.
What is the Zika virus?
The Zika virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected species of mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.
The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected.
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However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
Rory McIlroy :: Will he skip Rio?
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