Ebola Effect: African Wrestlers Miss World Championships

The effects of the Ebola outbreak have reached into the world of sports. Nine athletes will not be able to attend the upcoming world wrestling championships because of travel restrictions intended to control the spread of the virus. The annual World Wrestling Championships are scheduled for Sept. 8-14 in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. FILA, the governing body of wrestling, said the Uzbekistan health ministry has recommended wrestlers from affected West African countries not be invited. The ruling affects seven wrestlers from Nigeria and two from Sierra Leone, according to FILA.

The decision follows similar travel bans imposed by China and Russia ahead of the recent Youth Olympic Games and judo worlds. FILA President Nenad Lalovic says “our sympathies go out to the affected wrestlers, coaches and fans.” The current outbreak of Ebola could exceed 20,000 cases, according to officials with the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 1,500 people have died from the disease.

Ebola is spread only by contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person. The severity of the disease if contracted, however, is motivating action by authorities around the world. WHO’s roadmap estimates it will take six to nine months to fully respond to the outbreak.

Source: Associated Press

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