The 2016 Rio Olympic Games will start in a few days. Over 10,000 athletes from 26 countries will take part in the Games, and more than 1 million visitors all over the world will come to Rio de Janeiro.
While the Rio Olympic Games can bring lots of joy, the mass gathering may increase disease transmission and harm travelers’ and Brazilians’ health.
To help people make a safe trip, an editorial in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease provides a travel medicine checklist.
First, pre-travel vaccination can prevent several diseases, such as measles and rubella. Visitors who are not previously immunized should consider taking vaccine.
Second, Brazil has a high rate of gastrointestinal infections, and travelers should take food and water hygiene precautions and use hand sanitizer.
In addition, visitors need to pay attention to the quality of recreational water in Rio, which might be influenced by sewage contamination. More information can be found here.
Third, during the Games, a large number of people will gather in a small space, and this enables the spread of respiratory infections. Again, vaccine can help prevent the diseases.
Fourth, mosquitoes can transmitted several infections, such as Zika, malaria, and yellow fever. Therefore, visitors should use repellents, mosquito nets, and protective clothing.
Researchers suggest that wearing perfume, eating garlic, and using ring tones or electronic ultrasonic devices are not effective ways to prevent mosquito-borne infections.
Fifth, travel is a risk factor for sexually transmitted infections (STI). Travelers should take pre-travel sexual education, be aware of the risks, and use condoms. They also need to know how to identify STI early.
In conclusion, people who attend to the Rio Olympic Games may be exposed to several hazards. They should have detailed health advice prior to their visit.
For more information, please check Do we need to worry about Zika virus in the 2016 Olympic Games?
Citation: Patel D, Field V, Schlagenhauf P. (2016). Countdown to the 2016 Olympic Games: A travel medicine checklist. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 14: 173-176. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2016.05.017.
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