South Korea reveals Zika-proof clothing for Rio

 27 Apr 2016 - 18:43

South Korea reveals Zika-proof clothing for Rio
Models pose for photographers wearing uniforms of the South Korean official national team kit for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Taeneung National Training Center in Seoul, South Korea, 27 April 2016. (EPA)


SEOUL, South Korea: South Korea's Olympic committee on Wednesday unveiled Zika-proof long-sleeved shirts and pants it says will help protect the country's Olympic athletes from the mosquito-borne virus at this year's games in Rio de Janeiro.

The sets of clothing will be impregnated with mosquito-repellent chemicals and will be worn by athletes during ceremonies, training and at the athletes' village, the Korean Olympic Committee said. The committee said it couldn't make changes to the uniforms worn during competition because of strict rules and performance concerns, although athletes will be allowed to use spray during competition.

Brazil has been fighting to stem the spread of the Zika virus which is known to cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is significantly smaller than normal. The threat of Zika has emerged as a major concern in the buildup to this year's Olympics along with construction delays and the political turmoil in Brazil.

A team of South Korean government and Olympic officials visited Rio de Janeiro earlier this month to inspect Olympic venues and local hospitals that could treat the infected. The Korean Olympic Committee said it expects to soon provide guidelines to Olympic athletes and others travelling to the games about how to protect themselves from Zika.

The U.S. team revealed its outfits for the closing ceremonies outfits Wednesday, and they don't seem as worried. The men and women will wear shorts.