The Fifa World Cup Poses Specific Health Challenges – The NICD Gears Up To Offer Best Public Health Services

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1 June 2010

South Africa is putting the final touches in preparations for hosting one of the biggest sports tournament in the world, the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) is also gearing up to offer the best public health services during this time.

Major anticipated health risks may include cold-related illness, foodborne and waterborne illness, communicable diseases and incidents related to trauma and other types of injuries. The diseases which can occur during such events might be from conditions which are endemic 1to the country or can be imported by the visitors.

A number of opportunities arise to reduce the risk of acquiring communicable diseases during a mass gathering such as the World Cup, including pre-travel consultation, enhanced epidemic intelligence to timeously detect incidents, the provision of standard operating procedures for epidemic response, and training and pre-accreditation of food suppliers to reduce foodborne disease outbreaks.

This NICD has put together a short guide, accessible on the NICD website (www.nicd.ac.za), covers important health topics, including: food and water safety,

hepatitis A, influenza, malaria, measles, meningococcal disease, polio, rabies, Rift Valley fever, sexually transmitted infections, tick bite fever, tuberculosis and yellow fever. We provide general travel recommendations focusing on preventive measures that will assist visitors in experiencing a healthy World Cup.

For more information please contact Nombuso Shabalala on 011 386 6400 or 082 8864238