McIlroy concerned about Zika ahead of Olympics

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File photo of Rory McIlroy.

Rory McIlroy has concerns about the Zika virus as he prepares to play at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

The four-time major winner said he is monitoring the outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects.

"I have been reading a lot of reports about Zika and there have been some articles coming out saying that it might be worse than they're saying and I have to monitor that situation," McIlroy told the BBC.

McIlroy is scheduled to play for Ireland as golf makes its return to the Olympics for the first time since 1904.

The 27-year-old McIlroy said he and his fiancee, Erica Stoll, may consider starting a family "in the next couple of years".

"Right now, I'm ready to go but I don't want anything to affect that," he said.

Zika has been linked with microcephaly, a condition in which babies are born with undersized brains and skulls.

McIlroy said he is planning to get vaccinations today. "At least I will be immunized for whatever — if I do get bitten by a mosquito down there."

Australian golfer Marc Leishman has pulled out of the Olympics, citing concerns over the health of his family because of Zika. Leishman's wife, Audrey, nearly died last year from toxic shock syndrome.

Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Vijay Singh have also said they won't compete at Rio, mostly due to scheduling commitments.

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