Thursday, May 29, 2014

Illness in Travelers Returned from Brazil- Implications for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

A came across this article in Clinical Infectious Diseases that deals with both infectious diseases and football (soccer). Naturally, I was thrilled.

In this retrospective review the most common travel-related illnesses were dermatologic conditions (40%), diarrheal syndromes (25%), and febrile systemic illness (19%). The most common specific dermatologic diagnoses were cutaneous larva migrans, myiasis, and tungiasis. Dengue and malaria, predominantly Plasmodium vivax, were the most frequently identified specific causes of fever and the most common reasons for hospitalization after travel. 

Cutaneous larva migrans should be no surprise, given that Brazilian beaches are teeming with hookworms. In one report, 30 % of beach sand sampled from Alto Beach in Brazil contained the larvae of the dog and cat hookworms. Beach sand is also a hazard stateside, as summarized in this past blog of mine.

I am not suggesting that one attend the World Cup exclusively for the matches and then return immediately to the hotel. Some common sense precautions may help, such as wearing flip flops and  lying on beach recliners to minimize direct contact with beach sand. Hand hygiene and travel appropriate vaccinations would also help to prevent other ailments.

It is World Cup Time. Olé! 

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