Cape Town - SASCOC will be monitoring developments regarding the outbreak of the Zika virus in Brazil, the host of the Summer Olympics in August 2016.
“We have engaged with the National Department of Health and are guided by their advice and recommendations”, SASCOC CEO Tubby Reddy commented.
Reddy added: “In line with the directive from the Department of Health, SASCOC is advising its athletes and officials who are travelling to Brazil that basic necessary precautions must be taken in order to minimise the risk of exposure to the Zika virus”.
In a press release issued on Thursday, SASCOC said the following precautionary measures must be taken:
- Wearing long-sleeved clothing.
- Applying an insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin.
- Sleeping under mosquito-proof bed nets treated with an approved insecticide.
- Spraying the inside of their house or rooms with an insecticide after closing doors and windows.
- Staying and sleeping in screened-in or air-conditioned rooms.
Furthermore, all athletes and officials must pay attention to their health after they return from Brazil, and must:
- Inform any official or physician of their travel history on arrival in South Africa.
- Monitor their health for 12 days and seek medical care immediately at their nearest health facility; if they develop an acute onset of fever, rash, joint and muscle pain, conjunctivitis and headache. They should tell the doctor about their recent travel and their symptoms.
DOH has advised that all pregnant women should not travel to any area where Zika virus transmission is ongoing. If travel is absolutely essential, they should consult their doctor first and strictly follow precautionary measures during their trip.
DOH has also recommended that all travellers to Brazil should get a yellow fever vaccination at least 10 days before departure.
“Furthermore, SASCOC will be engaging and cooperating with the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) who are also monitoring the situation in Brazil. SASCOC will be guided by the recommendations of ANOCA that represents the 54 member countries and athletes who will be participating at Rio 2016,” said SASCOCPresident Gideon Sam.