South Korea Invents Zika-Proof Uniforms for Athletes in Summer 2016 Olmypics
With Brazil currently being ravaged by the Zika virus, South Korea is pulling out all the stops when it comes to protecting its athletes competing in this Summer’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The country’s Olympic committee said on April 27 that its teams’ new get-ups will be “mosquito-repellent,” consisting of chemically-enhanced jackets, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts.
Worn by athletes during ceremonies, while training, and at the athlete’s village, the sets will be dyed with the chemicals—but the changes can only go so far because of strict performance rules and concerns.
Athletes will, however, be able to use mosquito sprays during their competitions.
After announcing the clothing line, the Korean Olympic Committee says it will soon put guidelines forth for athletes and others traveling to and from the Olympic Games, focused around keeping safe from the virus.
Zika has been proven to cause birth defects—including microcephaly, which is a condition in which baby’s heads are born significantly smaller—according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and several other federal health administrations.
Brazil has been keeping a close watch on Zika, but the disease has grown to become one of the country’s major concerns, along with rising tensions for Olympic construction delays and political issues.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.