- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 24, 2016

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) - Brazil’s health minister briefed IOC officials Tuesday on the steps being taken to combat the Zika virus ahead of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The IOC said in a statement that Ricardo Barros “reaffirmed the commitment of the Brazilian government to put in place all the necessary measures to protect the health and safety of all people attending” the games in August.

Brazil has been badly hit by Zika, a mosquito-borne virus linked to severe birth defects.

Barros said he met with Rio officials last week and “confirmed that measures already put in place to combat the spread of Zika are rigidly being followed and are having a positive impact.”

He also cited data showing the “considerable drop in the proliferation of mosquitoes” during Brazil’s winter months.

Christophe De Kepper, director general of the International Olympic Committee, said the IOC is “fully confident” that Brazil will provide safe conditions for the games.

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