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Brazilian Nagl: No concerns about Zika virus

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Miriam Nagl offered reassurance for Olympic female golfers wondering what risks they might face in Rio de Janeiro in long rounds outdoors in August with the spread of the Zika virus an issue in Brazil.

Nagl, a native Brazilian, was the women’s medalist in the test event this week at the Rio Olympic Golf Course with a 4-under-par 67.

The Zika virus, spread primarily by  mosquitos, is deemed particularly threatening to women of child-bearing age. The virus is associated with a birth defect called microcephaly - children born with abnormally small heads and brains.

In a telephone interview Friday, GolfChannel.com asked Nagl if she was concerned by the threat of the virus.

“I have no concerns,” Nagl said. “I didn’t see one mosquito out there. I didn’t see a mosquito the whole week I was in Rio, and it was 95 degrees and humid.”

Nagl was born in Brazil but lives in Germany, where she makes her base playing the Ladies European Tour. She holds the 60th and final spot in the Olympic Women’s Rankings. Brazil is guaranteed one spot and Nagl is locked in a tight battle with Victoria Lovelady.

Nagl, 35, gave birth to her first child, a daughter, a year ago. She said she worried about what she might face before returning to Brazil this week but said she won’t have any reservations about returning in August, which is on average the coldest month of the year there.

“My mom gave me a big bottle of spray and told me to put it on every morning before I go out,” Nagl said. “But even in this humid weather, as I say, I didn’t see a mosquito. When the Olympics is played here, it will be a lot cooler. So, I don’t have any concerns.”