Australia's Olympic athletes given extra-strong condoms to protect from Zika virus

Zika causes mild illness or no symptoms in most people but is believed to be linked to a birth defect that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads

Australian Olympains will be issued with free extra-strength condoms in Rio to try prevent and minimise any infection from the Zika virus, officials said today.

The Zika virus has been rampant in Brazil, prompting one professor specializing in public health to do call on the Games to be postponed.

Mosquito borne virus causes mild illness or no symptoms in most people but is believed to be linked to a birth defect that causes babies to be born with unusually small heads, otherwise known as microcephaly.

Condoms will be made available in dispensing machines in the Olympic village but Australian are taking no chances, by supplying their own extra-strong variety.

"The health and well-being of the team comes first," said the Olympic team’s chef de mission Kitty Chiller.

"Our association with Starpharma will provide extra protection for everyone on the team, and is a common-sense approach to a very serious problem we are facing in Rio."

It has also been linked to the rare but serious neurological disorder Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Last week, the World Health Organisation advised pregnant women not to travel to Rio and urged athletes and visitors to take precautions to avoid infection by Zika.