The Zika virus has been a key problem for Rio 2016 organisers ©Getty Images

New research has claimed that the Zika virus is having a significant impact on certain Olympic sponsors ahead of Rio 2016.

The findings, which have been released to insidethegames, come from The Global Language Monitor (GLM), which says the impact on some individual partners is greater than the impact on the Games themselves.

GLM analyses and catalogues the latest trends in word usage and word choices, and their impact on the various aspects of culture, with a particular focus on English.

The internet and the top 350,000 print and electronic news media outlets are analysed, as well as social media sources such as Twitter.

Words, phrases and concepts are tracked in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media.

For non-branded entities such as the Zika virus, GLM uses a system called the Entity Tracking Index (EAI).

Individual sponsors have not been named, but one company scores 163.48 on the EAI scale when measured with Zika, with the higher numbers meaning a closer relationship.

Another is measured at 103.46 while a third tallies 48.50.

This is in comparison with how Zika measures against the Olympics itself, which is down at 18.64.

That figure has slowly risen, however, and was just 14.06 six weeks ago.

Rio sponsors score highly on the EAI, compared to the Games themselves
Rio sponsors score highly on the EAI, compared to the Games themselves ©GLM

This proves that there is a "significant and growing" impact on Rio 2016 and cause for concern, the GLM claims.

They maintain, however, there is a "greater impact" on individual sponsors due to the higher numbers.

"Of particular interest is the wide variation found in the EAIs between major sponsors," said Paul JJ Payack, President and chief world analyst of GLM.

"When tracking brand equity, the early numbers provide strong indicators of actual performance during the Games, providing a snapshot of the intense battle already being waged between the official Olympic sponsors and the non-affiliated marketers, also called ambush marketers or ambushers."

The GLM is hiding the names of the companies at present but they are available to see if you subscribe.

The analysis is part of a study stretching back to the Beijing 2008 Olympics, which will conclude with the 2022 Winter Games which will also be in the Chinese capital.

A Brand Affiliation Index (BAI) is also used to track how often brand names are linked to the Olympics in global print, electronic media and social networks.

Fast food giants McDonalds, one of the The Olympic Programme (TOP) partners, would normally score in the hundreds when measured against Rio 2016.

Zika has become one of the main issues discussed ahead of August's Olympics in the Brazilian city.

Numbers for Rio 2016 are lower, but have been growing steadily
Numbers for Rio 2016 are lower, but have been growing steadily ©GLM

The mosquito carried virus - declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) - is of particular concern to pregnant women due to a link with microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with small heads and under-developed brains.

Other effects of Zika include fevers, rashes, joint pain, eye redness and conjunctivitis, although it is thought only 20 per cent of people infected will display any symptoms. 

It is hoped that cooler conditions in August will mean that the mosquitoes responsible will be less prevalent.

Uğur Erdener, the Turkish President of World Archery who is a qualified doctor and chair of the International Olympic Committee's Medical and Scientific Commission, has said he is confident "significant" steps were being taken in Rio de Janeiro.

Some athletes, however, have expressed concerns with United States women's football goalkeeper Hope Solo, a double Olympic gold medallist, saying she would not travel in the present climate as she wants to start a family.

Toni Minichiello, the coach of Britain's Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, believes the country should consider moving its pre-Rio training camp, which will be in Belo Horizonte, out of Brazil.