The 2014 FIFA World Cup is coming up and many soccer fans around the world are looking forward to this highly anticipated event. However, if you're preparing to make your own trip to Brazil there are a few extra precautions you are advised to take.
The South Australian government recently released an alert for all citizens travelling to the country, to be mindful of the dangers of yellow fever. While the disease is not a risk in Australia, it is more common among many South American countries – including Brazil.
Yellow fever is so called because in severe cases, it can turn the skin into that hue. It is carried by mosquitoes and can lead to extreme illnesses and even death in humans.
Symptoms can take anywhere from 3-6 days to present, and can range from fever, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting, headaches or general weakness. From there, around 15-25 per cent of patients may advance towards the toxic stage of the disease. About half of all people in this phase die within 10-14 days after the onset of the symptoms.
SA Health Chief Medical Officer Paddy Phillips is urging anyone who plans to go to the World Cup to talk to their own GP for more information.
"Quite a number of South Australians will be travelling to Brazil and other parts of South America in the coming weeks for the FIFA World Cup," Mr Phillips said in a statement.
"Many of these countries still have diseases such as Yellow Fever, Dengue Fever and Malaria, which are either not present or uncommon in Australia, so we want to make sure that travellers are aware of the risks and take precautions."
Keeping yourself safe
Any event that gathers large crowds of people can increase the risk of communicable diseases, and in Brazil the rate of malaria, yellow fever, rabies and dengue is typically higher than in Australia.
The Department of Health estimates up to 30,000 Australians will be travelling to Brazil for the World Cup event. They recommend seeing your doctor or travel clinic at least eight weeks prior to your departure date, so you can get the necessary vaccinations and medications for the trip.
A big part of your preparations in this area can be supported by comprehensive travel insurance, which will provide health insurance cover for you and any loved ones you travel with. However, it can be difficult sorting through the fine print and deciding on a policy that suits your needs best.
At HICA, we make comparing health insurance easier for you, so you can focus on finding the right level of cover at the right price point for your needs.