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With Rio Olympics approaching, American athletes talk about Zika virus concerns
Macro of mosquito sucking blood close up on the human skin. Mosquito is carrier of Malaria, Encephalitis, Dengue and Zika virus - photo by Alex Cabrero
LOS ANGELES The public is finally hearing from some American athletes about the Zika Virus in Brazil. With the Rio de Janeiro Olympics now 150 days away, athletes have mixed feelings about the virus.

At the Team USA Media Summit in Los Angeles, those health concerns were part of the conversation.

"It's still scary, I mean, anything with your health, said Stacey Lewis, member of Team USA Golf. We travel the world year round. We were in Thailand two weeks ago and they kind of have the same warning with Zika, too.

The virus is suspected of causing a spike in microcephaly a rare birth defect that causes babies to have unusually small heads and abnormal brain development in Central and South America.

One of those looking into the Zika virus is Dr. Carrie Byington with the University of Utah, who is in charge of the United States Olympic Committee infectious disease advisory group.

"We are so fortunate to have such a depth of experts at the University of Utah that I feel very confident that any issue that would come up with Zika virus, we would have the expertise to handle, Dr. Byington said.

The athletes said they will rely on the expertise of the medical team. For now, many of them are just focused on the competition, not the mosquitos.

"Not worried about it whatsoever, said Lauren Crandall, Team USA Field Hockey member. Our staff, courtesy of the USOC, sent us answers to some questions none of us have had just yet. There's not enough information out. Right now, as an athlete, Im just thinking of it as a virus that can affect your performance for a week."

Contributing: Xoel Cardenas
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