Geneva, July 13 (IANS) The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged visitors during the Rio Olympics to get vaccinated especially against measles and rubella at least two weeks before traveling.
The Olympic Games are scheduled to take place from August 5 to 21, followed by the Paralympic Games from September 7 to 18.
In the Americas, endemic transmission of measles was interrupted in 2002 and transmission of rubella was interrupted in 2009. Last year, the region was certified as having eliminated rubella and congenital rubella syndrome, reports Xinhua on Tuesday.
However, unimmunised travellers from countries where these viruses still circulate could reintroduce them into the hemisphere.
“It is key that everyone travelling to the Games be up-to-date with their vaccination in order to ensure that we can keep the region free of measles and rubella,” said Carissa F. Etienne, director of Regional Office for the Americas of WHO.
This year’s Games are expected to attract up to 500,000 visitors and participants from countries around the world. At least 104 countries had reported measles cases in 2015.
WHO also recommended that all travellers ensure that their immunisation for routine vaccines is up-to-date while also considering additional vaccines depending on their itinerary.