HealthB4Travel

The Olympics in Brazil

There are only 190 days left until the commencement of the XXXI Olympic Games in Brazil, South America, and although there are concerns about completion of venues, security, and last minute details Brazil has to deal with another major concern arising at this precise moment. 

The increasing infestation of the mosquito (aka; the Aedes aegypti.) can be distinguished by the white markings on it’s legs and is the same mosquito that is best known for spreading Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever, Chikungunya and now Zika.

With over 21 countries being affected by this outbreak, it is posing a real problem as the looming world athletic event is drawing nearer. Brazil will be faced with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of athletes, spectators, tourists and officials from all over the world and they have to do something about getting some kind of control over the spread of this disease.

Brazil

Efforts have already begun with the fumigation of buildings and reducing the number of areas where there are collections of free-standing water.  However this is not an easy task to undertake, as there are health risks associated with fumigation and many of the regions associated with the ideal breeding ground for these pesky pests are generally in the poorer areas.

Zika has also been found to be linked to the numerous birth defects in Brazil, as it can cross the placenta wall during pregnancy and causing a deformity known as “Microcephaly.” Government officials are not only advising their own population to delay getting pregnant at this time, but they are also warning travelers who are pregnant, not to visit the country during this period of uncertainty. This can also be said for the other countries that are known to also be affected throughout South America; except Chile, Central America, The Caribbean and parts of the United States (so far Canada has no reported cases.)

So what do you do if you have to travel one of these affected areas?  Take the necessary precautions, since there is no vaccine at this time, and wear clothing to cover your arms and legs, apply insect repellent and sleep under a netted bed.

The good news, with regard for travel to the Olympics during the month of August, is that it is traditionally known as their dry season, and therefore the population of the mosquito should be at its lowest.

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