Mass gatherings potential breeding grounds for disease

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Major sports events, music festivals, and other crowded venues could be potential breeding grounds for disease, the World Health Organization has warned.

It says gatherings of large numbers of people can increase public health risks.

Temperature-related illness and dehydration are common causes of illness during mass gatherings.

More serious cases like outbreaks of respiratory disease, including cases of pandemic H1N1 influenza have also been reported.

Dr Maurizio Barbeschi from the WHO Global Capacity, Alert and response Division has more.

"All of those diseases that for instance are highly communicable. Meningitis, measles, or gastro-related… All of those have been associated with outbreaks in previous mass gatherings. But also you may have heat stress where the temperature of the games is particularly high. Of course, the opposite is true."

Rapid detection and effective management are essential, notes WHO.

The agency has been working closely with governments and preparing health authorities for events like the Olympic Games, and the World Cup.

Duration: 23″

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