World Cup infections need to be on GPs' radar, HPA says

GPs should be aware of a number of possible infections among fans returning from the World Cup in South Africa, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) says.

Over 20,000 football fans and 35,000 other travellers are expected to visit South Africa in June and, on their return to the UK, some may suffer from infectious diseases acquired in the country.

GPs should remain vigiliant for signs of illness such as gastrointestinal diseases, malaria, rabies, measles and Rift Valley Fever.

They should also be aware of symptoms for African tick bite fever, STIs and blood borne viruses, influenza, tuberculosis and meningococcal infection.

GPs should also note that some visitors to South Africa may also have travelled to other countries. Clinicians must record a detailed travel and risk exposure history for unwell returning travellers, and include such information in any request for laboratory diagnosis,the HPA said.

The HPA website will be updated with information about new and ongoing outbreaks of infectious disease throughout the tournament.

GPs should seek clinical advice from local infectious disease units as appropriate, the agency said.

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