South Korean athletes to wear Zika-proof uniforms at Rio Olympics
The 2016 Summer Olympics is being held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from August 5 to August 21. Unfortunately, news about the spread and effects of the Zika virus has led to worries among attendees of the premier international event. However, South Korea is the only country that has reportedly outfitted their athletes with "Zika-proof" uniforms. What are the special features that designers say will help protect the athletes against mosquitoes?
More than 10,500 athletes are going to compete in the Rio Olympics, and Brazil expects about half a million visitors for the first-ever Olympic Games being held in South America. While the World Health Organization has declared the Zika outbreak a global emergency, the Rio 2016 organizers recently announced that the number of Zika cases has fallen quickly as Brazil is moving into the colder winter months.
South Korea is taking special action against the Zika-carrying mosquitoes. According to the South Korean Olympic Committee, the formal uniforms, worn during the ceremonies and at the athletes' village, are designed with long-sleeved shirts and long trousers and made with fabric that is pre-treated with inspect repellent.
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Seoul-based apparel firm Kolon Fashion Material Co. said it developed the "MOS-LOCK" fabric with built-in repellent that is supposed to keep the Zika-carrying mosquitoes away.
However, the uniforms worn by athletes during competitions aren't allowed to be treated with chemicals, due to strict rules from the Olympic organizers. Athletes will be issued repellent sprays instead.
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