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Infectious disease risks at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic and Paralympic Games

June 14, 2016

Visitors to the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil will be most at risk of gastrointestinal illness and vector-borne infections concludes ECDC's updated rapid risk assessment on the Games. Therefore, visitors to the Games should pay attention to standard hygiene measures to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal illness and protect themselves against mosquito/other insect bites using insect repellent and/or by wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers.

The rapid risk assessment has been updated in light of further information on the ongoing Zika outbreak in Brazil.

The Olympic Games will take place during the winter season in Rio de Janeiro when the cooler and drier weather will reduce mosquito populations. This will significantly lower the risk of mosquito-borne infections - such as Zika virus, dengue and chikungunya - for visitors, except in Manaus where six football matches will be held.

Although the probability of being bitten by an infected mosquito is expected to be low during the events, the risk cannot be excluded that travellers may become infected.

This assessment is limited by the absence of regular notification of cases of Zika virus disease at state level and uncertainty about the possible impact on vector-borne transmission dynamics of above-normal temperatures predicted by the International Research Institute for Climate and Society.

The risk of colonisation (digestive tract carriage) of multidrug-resistant Enterobacteriaceae should be considered for all travellers, irrespective of whether they have contact with healthcare facilities while in Brazil, during the three months following their return from Brazil.

In recent years, Brazil has eliminated rubella transmission and, since July 2015, measles transmission has also been interrupted. However, these are endemic diseases in many other countries and could be imported to Brazil by international visitors.

Read the Rapid Risk Assessment.
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European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

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