Mosquito-borne Zika virus is causing headaches to Formula One drivers including Nico Rosberg as five of the last eight rounds of the championships have been scheduled in regions which have had outbreaks of the disease. The drivers, who are gearing up for Sunday's race in Monza, will head to Singapore on 18 September before they race in Malaysia, Texas, Mexico and Brazil later in 2016.
The German driver, who is trailing his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by nine points in the race for the title, said he has already started deliberating over the issue. Singapore has had 151 reported cases of Zika so far and is being informally quarantined by other countries and the United Nations.
"As a family man now I will be very interested and I will look into it. I started discussions on it already, yesterday, actually," Rosberg, who became a father last year, was quoted as saying by Reuters.
However, McLaren Racing Director Eric Boullier said they were making necessary precautions to tackle the Zika threat. Providing long-sleeved outfits is among the primary measures the F1 organisers have come up with.
"We are supplying anti-mosquito products and long-sleeved outfits and we have sent yesterday a brief to everybody about how to take care and all the why, what and how about it," Boullier said.
Zika now has spread to 60 countries since it was first reported in Brazil in 2015. The Rio Games saw athletes from various countries pulling out from their events citing Zika concerns. With Malaysia reporting that their first Zika case was a pregnant woman who travelled to Singapore, the outbreak is being treated with extreme caution in the country.
Manor Motorsport Racing Director Dave Ryan though maintained that they are comfortable with the situation.
"It is fine. We're comfortable with it. We've briefed all the guys, we're offering them the option of wearing long-sleeved garments and obviously supplying them with the right protection," Ryan said.