Keeping healthy in Rio
With five months to go until the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, tickets are being purchased, flights are getting booked and rowers are training hard to make their country's Olympic team.
Part of the preparation is the need to know what health requirements are necessary when travelling to Brazil. The FISA Sports Medicine Commission with consultation with international public health and infections disease experts has put together a detailed document. It includes the following recommendations covered in seven points:
1. Climate - The Rio Olympics will be held in August - mid-winter in Brazil. As it is in the tropics, the daytime temperatures will be in the 20s degrees Celsius with humidity up to 80 per cent. Daily ocean breezes keep the temperature 'comfortable'.
2. Environmental Issues – General overview on the environment in Rio.
3. Food and hygiene - Take the usual precautions of travelling and avoid uncooked food like shellfish, eggs, vegetables and fruits and food not in controlled refrigeration like cold meats and salad bars.
4. Infectious disease and vaccination recommendations – Recommendations are included on vaccinations before travel. Careful attention is paid to mosquito borne diseases, such as Zika. Several appropriate informational websites are referenced.
5. Precautions – Climate; avoid being in the midday sun and drink lots of water. Personal equipment and protection; Wear a hat, sunblock and use a DEET-based insect repellent.
6. Lagoon water quality
The water quality of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon is tested regularly and reported here: http://www.rio.rj.gov.br/web/smac/gestao-da-lagoa-rodrigo-de-freitas
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Rowing Federation (FISA) adhere to the recommendations of the WHO in terms of the types of testing needed for the quality of the water and thus measure the presence of e-coli and total coliform. Guidelines are here: http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/bathing/srwe1/en/
7. Additional useful links
These recommendations are detailed and may seem daunting, they are important to take seriously for your own health. FISA will continue to be in communication with local and international health experts to monitor any new developments.
Please click here to download the medical recommendation document.