Don't share your vuvuzela - doc

2010-06-24 12:01
Johannesburg - Don't share your vuvuzela if you want to cut down on the chance of picking up bad germs during the World Cup, a national travel clinic said on Thursday.

"...A fan instrument such as the much loved vuvuzela can unfortunately blow spittle and germs from infected individuals on to other people in crowded areas and may be a health risk for infectious illnesses such as flu," said an advisory from Dr Pete Vincent of Netcare Travel Clinics.

In addition, he advised spectators to blow their own vuvuzelas and not share them with others, as this could easily result in the picking up and transmitting germs. He also cautioned people not to blow too hard, following the "unusual" case of a woman who blew so hard she ruptured part of her throat.

Basic precautions

He said Africa was not considered a risky health destination, but fans should keep in mind many basic rules while they spend time in crowds of people.

"Crowds gathering at the games also create an opportunity for the rapid spread of certain infectious illnesses such as flu. We should therefore take a few precautions to ensure that we have a happy, healthy World Cup."

This includes applying sunblock, not drinking alcohol in the sun, remembering to use a condom, covering the mouth when coughing and washing hands.

They advised a flu jab and for those who had not had a measles jab before, it was advisable to get one as the virus could be passed in sneeze droplets. So far 16 000 cases have been reported since 2009.

Personal hygiene

Diarrhoea could be avoided by watching what one ate and practising good personal and food hygiene.

A vaccine was available to help prevent the Rotavirus infection in infants, and there were also vaccines available for other potentially dangerous infections, such as meningitis and Hepatitis A and B.

Malaria risk was low as none of the stadiums fell in malaria areas and winter was a time of low transmission.

Visitors to malaria areas such as the Kruger Park should use a DEET-based mosquito repellent and make inquiries on whether they require prophylaxis to protect them while there.

Read more on: netcare health

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