However, there are some things to consider beforehand, including your vaccinations for Rio 2016, to ensure your trip is truly one of a lifetime. The last thing you want is to be bed-ridden and miss out on the sporting performances due to illness.
If you are travelling to the Games this month but have yet to receive your required/recommended vaccinations for Rio 2016 you still have time. While it is recommended that you receive your vaccinations 4-6 weeks prior to travelling, it is better to get them late than not at all.
All travellers to Brazil are advised to have vaccination cover against Yellow Fever (especially if your travels take you away from the major coastal regions of Rio and San Paulo) and it is wise to also strongly consider some other vaccines including Tetanus, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
While in Brazil, if you plan on travelling to any of the Malaria at-risk regions it is essential that you take the recommended anti-malarial tablets as prescribed and also try to avoid mosquito bites as much as possible. If you have not already received your vaccinations you should book your consultation now.
The Zika Virus has been a prominent concern in the lead up to the Olympics, with many athletes choosing to drop-out of their respective events to avoid the risk of contracting the virus. However, in the countries that have been affected by Zika, such as Brazil, there is not a 100% risk of contracting the disease.
The Zika Virus is primarily spread by mosquitoes (though sexual transmission has increasingly been documented) and many cases are asymptomatic; with only 20% of those infected actually developing symptoms sufficient enough to cause problems. Before you go, ensure you have plenty of insect repellent packed. Tropical Medical Bureau insect repellent can be picked up in TMB clinics, Lloyds Pharmacies, Dunnes Stores and Tesco nationwide, as well as Dublin Airport.
If you are travelling to Brazil, where the Zika Virus is present, then women are advised not to get pregnant until at least eight weeks after returning. Male travellers who are not showing any symptoms should not have unprotected sex during the trip or in the eight weeks following their return. If men do have symptoms of Zika, they should not have unprotected sex for the duration of the pregnancy.
Unfortunately, there is no vaccine against Zika viral infection, similar to many other mosquito borne diseases. While there is no specific treatment for those infected usually all that is required is for the individual’s own body defences to get to work. The main protection against the Zika Virus is to avoid mosquito bites in known at-risk regions of the world.
If you receive the correct vaccinations for Rio 2016 before you travel and take the proper precautions while in Brazil, you should be able to enjoy the Olympic Games in perfect health.
However, if you do become unwell while in Rio de Janeiro or upon your return, Tropical Medical Bureau offers a 24/7 emergency hotline for existing patients.
To book an appointment, please contact the Tropical Medical Bureau on 1850 487674 or visit www.tmb.ie.