10. May 2010 11:07
How to get a high health score in the World Cup this year.
What vaccines should I think about?
For any trip to South Africa, you need to check you are covered for Hep A and Tetanus/Diptheria/Polio. There is an ongoing outbreak of measles in South Africa, so also important to check your cover for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella).
The World Cup is happening during South Africa’s flu season, and the Department of Health are now suggesting Influenza A H1N1 vaccine for travelers.
Those attending matches will be exposed to large gathering of people which may increase risk of exposure to these illnesses.
Insect repellents containing DEET, and clothing treatments should be used to reduce the risk of a variety of insect borne diseases, including Rift Valley Fever.
Malaria is unlikely to cause a problem for those travelers only visiting the cities hosting football matches, but please remember to check if anti-malarial measures are required if traveling on elsewhere.
Rabies is endemic to South Africa, and is often related to contact with dogs. However, any mammal or bat can be affected. It is essential to get rapid medical care in the event of any animal bite, scratch or lick to face or open wound. Pre-travel vaccination removes the need to get the HRIG, in the event of a bite.
Sun, Sex and Alcohol
South Africa has a high incidence of Hepatitis B and HIV, so safe sex is vital, as is avoiding any contact with needles.
Don’t forget to use sunscreen and sunhats while cheering on our team, and drink plenty of water or other non alcoholic drinks.
Please remember excessive alcohol increases risk to health and personal security.
There is no Reciprocal Health Agreement with South Africa, so please remember to organize your travel and medical insurance, including cover for medical repatriation.