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Olympians Battle Mosquito Infestations in Rio as U.S. Develops New Zika Test

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Ricardo Mazalan/AP

Athletes preparing for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio have something bigger to worry about than the competition. The thousands of mosquitoes breeding in and around the competition areas.

Brazilian swimmer Leonardo de Deus was one of the competitors at the Maria Lenk Trophy qualifying event (the second of Brazil’s two qualifiers) who complained of mosquitoes, saying the outdoor warm-up pool “had a ton of mosquitoes.”

Olympic organizers have said that they plan on covering the outdoor warm-up pool with an air-conditioned tent come August, and Rio’s doctor, Dr. Joao Grangeiro said athletes will not be at risk of disease and should plan on attending the Games. (His announcement came on the heels of the World Health Organization declaring the Zika virus a public health emergency in Brazil and Latin America.)

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

News of the Olympic athletes’ concerns come as the U.S. announced it has developed a low-cost, quick diagnostic test for the disease.

Researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have developed a new diagnostic test that can quickly detect the presence and specific strain of Zika virus in a sample of blood, urine or saliva. The consists of a freeze-dried paper disc permeated with “a reactive mixture of cellular components and biological proteins,” according to Wired. Once it’s hydrated with a sample, it takes up to an hour to generate a positive or negative diagnosis.