Public Release: 

Olympic and Paralympic Games, risks to public health

ECDC risk assessment

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

Visitors to the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Summer Games (5-21 August and 7-18 September 2016) in Rio de Jan, Brazil will be most at risk of gastrointestinal illness and vector-borne infections. Consequently, travellers are advised to pay attention to standard hygiene measures and protect themselves against mosquito and other insect bites using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers. It should be noted though that the Games will take place during the winter season in Rio de Janeiro when the cooler and drier weather will reduce mosquito populations, thus lowering the risk of mosquito-borne infections.

A number of vaccine preventable diseases are present and as such visitors should consult the advice for vaccinations issued by the Brazilian health authorities, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) as well as their own country's recommendations. Additionally, tourists are recommended to arrange comprehensive healthcare insurance before travelling.

In view of the current Zika outbreak in the Americas and the Pacific, ECDC is regularly updating its risk assessments and, to this date, its information for travellers remains valid:

  • Pregnant women and women who are planning to become pregnant should consider postponing non- essential travel to affected areas until after delivery.
  • Pregnant women who plan to travel to Rio 2016 and those residing in the affected areas should consult their healthcare providers for advice and follow strict measures to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Travellers with immune disorders or severe chronic illnesses should consult their doctor or seek advice from a travel clinic before travelling, particularly on effective prevention measures.
  • Travellers to Brazil and EU citizens residing in affected areas should be advised that using condoms could reduce the risk of sexual transmission through semen.


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