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Sambadrome fumigated amid Zika virus fears

David Bowie, Kraftwerk, Elton John and Radiohead have played the 90,000-capacity Rio stadium, which is due to host the upcoming Carnival celebrations and Olympic events

By Jon Chapple on 27 Jan 2016

Crowds in Apotheosis Square await Kraftwerk and Los Hermanos in March 2009, bgKcram

Crowds in Apotheosis Square await Kraftwerk and Los Hermanos in 2009


image © bgKcram/Flickr

Rio de Janeiro’s municipal health department yesterday ordered the fumigation of the city’s 90,000-capacity Sambadrome stadium over concerns about the Zika virus.

The Sambadrome Marquês de Sapucaí, which includes the Apotheosis Square (Praça da Apoteose) outside events area, will in less than two weeks host Rio’s world-famous Carnival celebrations. It will also be the venue for archery and athletics events at the 2016 Olympic Games in August.

Fifteen workers in yellow protective overalls and gas masks sprayed the stadium with insecticide in a bid to halt the spread of the disease, which is spread by mosquitos and is believed to cause microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental condition which leads to exceptionally small heads in infants.

The Zika virus has also been discovered in a number of other Latin American countries and the Caribbean

Nearly 4,000 cases of microcephaly have been discovered in Brazil since October, compared to 150 instances for the whole of 2014, and the Zika virus has been discovered in a number of other Latin American countries and the Caribbean.

Brazil’s health minister, Marcelo Castro, said yesterday that nearly 220,000 soldiers would assist in eradication efforts before the start of Rio Carnival. “The mosquito has been here in Brazil for three decades, and we are badly losing the battle against the mosquito,” he told Folha de S.Paulo.

David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Kraftwerk, Radiohead, Elton John and Eric Clapton are among the acts who have played at Apotheosis Square. It also hosted the Hollywood Rock festival from 1988 to 1996.

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