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Football fans advised to get their shots

Football fans heading to Brazil for this month's World Cup are being advised to make sure their vaccinations are up-to-date.

According to a Department of Health spokesman, one of the vaccines may include a second dose of measles, mumps and rubella. Although measles and rubella have been eliminated in the Americas, the viruses are still circulating in other regions of the world and thus the Americas is at risk of virus importations.

Measles is an infection of the respiratory system, immune system and skin caused by a virus. Measles is spread through respiration — contact with fluids from an infected person's nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission — and is highly contagious.

Rubella, also called ‘German measles' or ‘three-day measles', is a contagious viral infection best known by its distinctive red rash. Rubella is not the same as measles though the two illnesses do share some characteristics, including the red rash. However, rubella is caused by a different virus and is neither as infectious nor usually as severe as measles.

Symptoms include fever, rash, cough or runny nose or conjunctivitis, joint pain; and swollen glands.

The spokesman added that if travellers to South America believe they have contracted measles or rubella they should remain indoors, refrain from visiting public places, and avoid close contact with others for seven days from the start of symptoms.

The spokesman also warned travellers of the risks associated with food, water and mosquito borne illness, personal safety, drug and alcohol use and unprotected sex.

Information about prevention is available from the Travel Clinic, while clinic appointments at the Hamilton Health Centre are scheduled in advance for each Tuesday or Thursday of each week from 1.45pm to 4pm. Call 278-6460 to book an appointment.

Travel consultations should be made well in advance of departure, to ensure appropriate vaccination prior to travel abroad.

The Department of Health has also set up a free web application — ‘HEALTHY CUP' as part of a project to improve public health surveillance during the tournament. It is, designed for use on mobile devices and web browsers.

It's a simple process that relies on voluntary participation by visitors or residents in Brazil, reporting their health status through information on ten signs/symptoms — fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, diarrhoea, joint pain, headache, bleeding, and rash.

How to download:

iOS devices (iPhone and iPad): available from the App Store via

Android devices (Samsung, Motorola, LG, etc): available from Google play via

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Published June 03, 2014 at 11:14 am (Updated June 03, 2014 at 11:14 am)

Football fans advised to get their shots

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