back to article Brit Olympian defies Zika with frozen man oysters

British long jumper Greg Rutherford and his other half Susie Verrill have responded to the possible threat posed by the Zika virus by having the athlete's sperm frozen before he jets off to the Rio Olympics in August. Verrill will remain at home with the couple's young son Milo, citing "the cost and logistics of travel" as two …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Jemma

    Well, no, not really..

    Freezing sperm is a sensible idea for cancer amongst other diseases. It's not so hot here since if he does get it it can survive in the body for at least 4 months, hiding out in various places including the testicles and blood. Which means, whether the baby is made with frozen wrigglers or not, any pregnancy within 12 months of a Zika infection is a bad idea, not to mention if the partner is infected I've not seen data on how long it lasts in a human female. If it's like some other nasties it could sit in places like the spleen for years.

    If I was one of these athletes potentially being put in this situation I'd be saying hell no.

    But then maybe I've been playing Plague Inc too long..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well, no, not really..

      You do realise he isn't there yet don't you?

      1. Jemma

        Re: Well, no, not really..

        Doesn't matter, even if they use frozen sperm, before or after he goes out or gets back, if he's infected he's capable of infecting others. I'm not sure if anyone knows yet whether there is a key window in a pregnancy where Zika can cause it's problems, I know stress in 3rd trimester can cause problems in the resulting child. I've not seen anything that says that an infection after the fact can in no way affect foetus.

        All that is over and above the possibility of infected persons radiating out to almost every country in the world with no real way of tracking all their interactions between time of infection and symptomatic infection.

        It's basically a really silly idea all round to keep the Olympics in the zone of danger. It's basic epidemiology - but then it's also politics, money and time.. I can sadly guess which will win out.

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Well, no, not really..

          Just to clarify:

          • He froze the sperm before he left. The sperm has NO zika virus in it. It cannot infect anyone with zika
          • He will be following the advice regarding non-transmission after his return
          • The sperm will be used if they want to start a second kid less than a year after he gets back.(because condoms stop(?) zika, but they also stop babies)
          So this is a contingency plan, if he gets sick, and they want another baby, they use the frozen stuff so that he does not risk infecting his wife.

          1. Francis Boyle

            Re: Well, no, not really..

            Or they could simply decide to not have a baby until they both check out as safe. But that wouldn't generate any publicity.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple solution

    Don't host the games in a 3rd world sewage pond.

    Is it about sportsmanship, or corruption, bribes and corporate sponsorship?

    1. Eddy Ito

      Re: Simple solution

      Pah, too easy. It's mostly about the bribes and corporate sponsorship. The corruption is simply there to grease the wheels for the whole nationalism bit. I guess there's a little sportsmanship involved but fortunately that's largely restricted to the actual athletes.

      Besides, Rio is a nice place although I do wonder how they got suckered into footing the bill for this whole thing. I just wish LA would figure out what a tax sink 2024 would be like Boston did should they actually win.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Simple solution

      Indeed and speaking of "ponds", the bay they are using for the sailing, rowing competitions is so polluted that there's been warnings issued over it. I'm surprised they're even holding the Olympics and ParaOlympics there.

      And then there's the political issues going on with the President allegedly being impeached but not much happening from their Parliament on this and people taking to the streets on a regular basis.

      Obviously a bunch of palms have been greased.

  4. Little Mouse

    "Frozen Man Oysters" would make running and jumping a tad uncomfortable.

    It would be like having a pair of clackers bouncing noisily around in your pants.

    1. 's water music
      Gimp

      frozen oysters

      I would have thought that just freezing the pearls ought to have done it.

      Mask in case of splatter -->

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      having a pair of clackers bouncing noisily around in your pants

      Welcome to my world...

  5. erikj

    Good to keep one's options alive (or frozen).

    So the thinking here is to ensure they (or herself, unilaterally) can become pregnant sometime between his arrival in Brazil and a point after his return where the risk is no longer a factor? Clearly, the Rutherford/Verrill family calendar pinned to the kitchen wall is way more interesting than mine.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Good idea," said Susie

    "Just don't get any on the peas."

  7. MotionCompensation

    Amusing and sad

    Living in a place that has malaria, Chikungunya, Dengue fever, Zika, I find it amusing to see the slight panic Zika seems to have caused in the countries that spend so much money on counter terrorism and so little on fighting malaria. If only these other diseases could spread as far as Zika...

    Welcome to my world.

    1. PhilipN Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: Amusing and sad

      Dangerous rationalistic and common sense thinking!

      Off to Room 101 with the heretic!

      P.S. Different but related topic : Have a gander at Freedom's Battle by Gary Bass.

  8. DocJames

    Demonstrates the lack of thought...

    Zika has been demonstrated to remain in sperm (and be sexually transmitted) for several weeks after infection. If transmitted to a female partner who becomes pregnant, there is a high risk of microcephaly (or any of the other neuronastiness that Zika seems to cause).

    Unless they're planning to get pregnant in the 8 weeks or so post Games it seems bizarre. Doubtless a company is happy to take their money.

    Finally I'd point out that Greg's little swimmers are likely to be somewhat inadequate at this time, as the level of training involved to get to Olympic standard is such that fertility is impaired. (I would add for many athletes the "nutritional supplements" aka PEDs are also probably an issue; I don't think this is likely with him.)

  9. hatti

    Lacks music

    I think frozen repro-goo detracts from the romantic aspect.

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