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Before traveling to World Cup, Olympics, Paralympic Games in Brazil, see a doctor

Travelers might be exposed to a range of health risks, including several infectious diseases.
By Alex Cukan   |   June 3, 2014 at 1:26 PM   |   Comments

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ATLANTA, June 3 (UPI) -- Travelers planning to attend the FIFA World Cup, or the 2016 Summer Olympic Games or the Paralympic Games in Brazil should see their doctors at least four weeks before embarking.

Joanna Gaines, a senior epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said travelers might be exposed to a range of health risks, including several infectious diseases.

Gaines and colleagues reviewed the literature to identify health risks associated with travel to Brazil and attending mass gatherings. The findings were published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

All travelers should be up to date on routine vaccines including: the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine and the seasonal flu shot.

"The CDC recommends the hepatitis A vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Brazil, regardless of where you are eating or staying," the CDC says in a statement.

"You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Brazil. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater."

Some travelers to Brazil might be at risk of hepatitis B via sexual contact, contaminated needles or blood products, so the CDC recommends this vaccine if a traveler might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have a medical procedure.

Depending on where a person travels in Brazil, some might need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after the trip to prevent malaria transmitted via mosquito bites.

Areas with malaria include the states of: Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Maranhao, Para, Rondonia, Roraima, Tocantins and urban areas such as Belem, Boa Vista, Macapa, Manaus, Maraba, Porto Velho and Santarem.

Yellow fever is a risk in some parts of Brazil. The CDC recommends the yellow fever vaccine for travelers age 9 months or older.

Rabies can contracted from dogs, bats and other mammals in Brazil, but it is not a major risk to most travelers, the CDC says.

© 2014 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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