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Lancet. 2014 Jun 14;383(9934):2083-2089. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62342-9. Epub 2014 May 20.

London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: public health surveillance and epidemiology.

Author information

1
Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Global Health and WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings, London, UK. Electronic address: Brian.McCloskey@phe.gov.uk.
2
Global Health and WHO Collaborating Centre on Mass Gatherings, London, UK.
3
Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance and Control, London, UK.
4
Reference Microbiology, London, UK.
5
Food, Water, and Environmental Microbiology Services, London, UK.
6
Public Health England, London, UK.
7
Real-time Syndromic Surveillance Team, London, UK.
8
Field Epidemiology Services, London, UK.
9
European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training, London, UK.
10
Travel and Migrant Health Section, London, UK.
11
PHE Centre West Midlands, London, UK.
12
North East PHE Centre, London, UK.
13
Global Capacities, Alert and Response, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.
14
Global Preparedness, Surveillance and and Response, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.
15
Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Al-Faisal University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
16
Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
17
Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Global Capacities, Alert and Response, WHO, Geneva, Switzerland.
18
Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Public Health England, London, UK; Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London, UK; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.
19
Global Center for Mass Gathering Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London, London, UK; University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.

Abstract

Mass gatherings are regarded as potential risks for transmission of infectious diseases, and might compromise the health system of countries in which they are hosted. The evidence for increased transmission of infectious diseases at international sporting mass gatherings that attract many visitors from all over the world is not clear, and the evidence base for public health surveillance, epidemiology, and response at events such as the Olympics is small. However, infectious diseases are a recognised risk, and public health planning is, and should remain, a crucial part of the overall planning of sporting events. In this Series paper, we set out the planning and the surveillance systems that were used to monitor public health risks during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2012, and draw attention to the public health issues-infectious diseases and chemical, radiation, and environmental hazards-that arose. Although the absolute risk of health-protection problems, including infectious diseases, at sporting mass gatherings is small, the need for reassurance of the absence of problems is higher than has previously been considered; this could challenge conventional public health surveillance systems. Recognition of the limitations of health-surveillance systems needs to be part of the planning for future sporting events.

PMID:
24857700
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62342-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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