WHO hopes safety will be the legacy of the London OlympicsListen /
Major events where there are mass gatherings of people, such as the Olympics, can strain the public health system.
For this reason, the World Health Organization (WHO) has been working with the International Olympic Committee to make the games safer for athletes and the general population.
More than 12,000 athletes and 21,000 journalists will be in London for the 2012 games which opened on Friday, according to WHO's Dr. Maurizio Barbeschi.
He says the increased number of people in the city could mean a higher than usual risk of communicable diseases, travel-related illnesses, and even bio-terrorism through food and water contamination.
"If you tried to do public health in peace time with normal disease outbreaks, and you try to do the same type of activities under the spotlight of 12,000 of your colleagues roaming the city, you understand why the public health system is strained." (Duration: 17″)