IANPHI members lead the way in World Cup health

May 31, 2014

by Christy Craig

With only a few weeks until the World Cup begins, fans and players – and host country Brazil – are gearing up for what has become the world’s largest international soccer tournament. The tournament, comprised of 64 matches between 32 national soccer teams, is held every four years. The finishing touches are being made on tournament stadiums in twelve cities across the the country, and fans and teams are busy finalizing their travel preparations. The international football association FIFA predicts that over one million spectators will attend, coming from every corner of the globe.

Meanwhile, two IANPHI member NPHIs – Public Health England and FIOCRUZ Brazil – are preparing for the tournament in a different, and equally important way: ensuring the health of those in Brazil for the Cup. Public Health England has developed an informative guide to health and safety at the World Cup. The guide provides “key advice” for travelers, including information on necessary vaccines, malaria prevention, travelers’ health insurance, sun protection, and more, specifically for the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

With recent concerns about the risk of dengue fever at the 2014 World Cup, a team of researchers from the UK, Brazil, and Spain together developed an epidemic-risk modeling framework to forecast the risk of dengue fever in each of the 12 Brazilian World Cup cities. IANPHI member FIOCRUZ provided Brazilian Climate and Health Observatory data for the development of the model. While nine of the cities have been deemed to be low- and medium- risk dengue fever sites for June 2014, the three northeastern host cities are at high risk. National and local Brazilian public health officials are taking preventative measures at each of the host sites, including surveillance, notification of suspected cases, and vector control. Read the full article here.