Six-time Olympic gold medalist Usain Bolt has joked that Zika-carrying mosquitoes in Brazil won't be fast enough to catch him.

Bolt made the comments, clearly as a joke, during an interview on the American Today show.

Asked if is concerned about Zika heading into August's Olympics, Bolt said:

"Hopefully, by the time I get there, they'll have it under control. I'm sure they'll put things in place to sort it out. So I'm not really stressed right now" - before some nudging on Alexander's part sparked the more flippant response from the runner.


Interviewer Peter Alexander then said: "Your mates on your team tell me that the mosquitoes usually stay away from you. What up with that - why are the mosquitoes intimidated by Usain Bolt?"

To which Bolt replied: "Because I'm fast. They can't catch me."

Bolt is aiming to do the 100m, 200m and 100m relay treble for an unprecedented third straight time.

Brazil has been the epicentre of the outbreak of the mosquito-borne disease, which is blamed for birth defects in babies born to women infected with the virus.

As well as causing the birth defect microcephaly in babies born to women infected with the virus, 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.

- With AP