August 3, Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Although the Zika virus has received copious media attention surrounding the 2016 Rio Olympic games, the lesser-reported on virus, Dengue Fever may pose a stronger threat. Both athletes and attendees alike should be aware of the VIGILINT recommended precautions leading into the Opening Ceremonies this coming Friday.
“Although Zika remains a significant risk to travelers, especially to women of childbearing age and their partners, mosquito populations in Rio are lowest in August.” states Sean Siler, VIGILINT’s Chief Medical Officer. “Of equal concern is Dengue Fever, also spread by mosquitos, which has infected nearly 1.2 million people in Brazil in 2016, putting it on track to exceed the already high 2015 infection count.” Although Dengue causes only mild symptoms in most cases (fever, joint and muscle pain, rash, pain behind the eyes, bleeding from nose and gums) some experience a more severe, potentially life threating form known as Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever. If you experience severe abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, rapid breathing or blood found in vomit, we recommend that you seek medical attention right away.
If you plan on attending the games, or other areas where Dengue or Zika are present, we recommend the following precautions:
MOSQUITO PREVENTION STRATEGIES:
- Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants
- Wear insect-resistant clothing treated with Permethrin
- Avoid open-toed shoes
- Wear socks that cover your ankles and legs to mid-Calf
- Use insect repellent with at least 25% DEET or 20% Picaridin and reapply every four hours
- Use screens or mosquito nets in windows or doors
- Favor screened-in, air conditioned indoor environments and minimize the time outside
In addition, the healthcare infrastructure of Rio De Janeiro consists of understaffed hospital services and an underdeveloped trauma system resulting in ineffective transport and care for patients. We recommend travelers contact VIGILINT for a list of identified and vetted reliable hospitals and pharmacies and for a custom medical contingency plan with itinerary-specific recommendations.
VIGILINT is an international health protection company that provides medical advisory, mission critical 24/7 telemedicine and crisis management services to multinational corporations, government clients and individuals. We provide comprehensive medical and travel risk management solutions for global travelers.