2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa
19 February 2010
South Africa will be hosting the first ever FIFA Football World Cup to be held on African soil. Approximately 350 000 people are expected to arrive in June 2010, plus those who will arrive earlier in preparation of the event.
The event will take place from 11th June to 11th July 2010 and host cities for official matches include: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Nelspruit, Polokwane, Port Elizabeth, Pretoria and Rustenburg.
Advice for travellers
Mass gatherings such as the FIFA World Cup pose significant challenges for the healthcare system of the host country and travellers should take precautions before and during their visit to avoid adding to the burden by staying safe and well.
Important points to consider:
- Check the South Africa country record for vaccination and malaria recommendations. There is a large ongoing measles outbreak in South Africa and visitors who have not had the illness in childhood on been fully vaccinated may wish to consider vaccination.
- The National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa has highlighted that football fans travelling from the UK to South Africa via Nairobi, Kenya, must show proof of yellow fever vaccination on arrival. There is no risk of yellow fever in South Africa as it is not in an edemic zone. The World Health Organisation considers Kenya a country with risk of yellow fever and under International Health Regulations (2005), an International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis against yellow fever must be shown on entry to South Africa from Kenya.
- The World Cup will take place during the winter influenza season in South Africa and it is expected that influenza A (H1N1), the pandemic strain, will cause the majority of infections in 2010. UK travellers included in the 'at risk' groups should consider having both seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines.
- An outbreak of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in livestock is ongoing in South Africa. Animal cases have been reported from the Provinces of: Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and North West. A total of 166 human cases of RVF have been confirmed since 15 Feb 2010. There is no human vaccine available. RVF is a viral infection that primarily affects animals. Humans can be infected through direct contact with blood, tissue or organs from infected animals eg during butchering or assisting with animal births. The virus can also be transmitted through inhalation of aerosols produced during the slaughter of infected animals. Other modes of transmission include the bite from an infected mosquito and consumption of unpasteurised or uncooked milk from an infected animal. Those at highest risk are farmers, herders, veterinarians and slaughterhouse workers. Travellers should take precautions to prevent mosquito bites. Further information on Rift Valley Fever.
- Officials in South Africa have organised an emergency reponse system to cope with medical problems faced by visitors to the event but there is no Reciprocal Health Care Agreement between South Africa and the UK, therefore comprehensive medical insurance is essential and should include medical repatriation costs.
- During gatherings of this magnitude HIV and other sexually transmitted infections can be a serious risk. Approximately 20% of adults aged between 15-49 years of age in South Africa are HIV positive and the carriage rate of hepatitis B virus is considered to be high at more than 10% (WHO).
- Crime and personal safety is an issue in part of south Africa and very good advice is available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website on the South Africa country record.
- The Foreign and Commonwealth Office also have specific advice for travellers visiting South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- Further information is available on avoiding mosquito bites, travellers diarrhoea, rabies and what to do after an animal bite