(Transcript from World News Radio)
Football mad Australian fans are being warned the most important shots they need to consider before leaving for the World Cup in Brazil later this year are yellow fever vaccinations.
Travel medical experts say it’s compulsory for people to be innoculated before travelling to Brazil.
That’s just one of the warnings being issued ahead of the event in a country known for its commitment to having a good time.
Murray Silby reports.
Dr Deborah Mills, from the Travel Medicine Alliance, says the choice for football fans could be as simple as a vaccination for yellow fever or contracting the potentially fatal disease from a single mosquito bite.
“It’s as simple as being bitten by a mosquito. Now there are other diseases transmitted in Brazil from mosquitos as well. Things like dengue fever and there are food related diseases, When you get a mass gathering you tend to get more diseases spread. So even simple things like miseasles is aproblem in Brazil at the moment as well as travellers’ diarrhea and the usual array of travel diseases, but yellow fever’s very serious.”
Dr Mills says fans will need to show upon arrival in Brazil that they’ve been vaccinated for the disease which kills 30,000 of 200,000 reported cases worldwide each year.
“They need to make sure their yellow fever vaccine and certificate is up to date before they travel. As we’ve said, we don’t want soccer fever to turn into yellow fever. Yellow fever is a serious disease, which in days gone past killed many, many people, and it’s transmissable by one mosquito bite, and if someone gets the disease they run the risk of bringing it back to Australia and causing an outbreak here. So we’re reminding people they need to know about this disease and get some good travel advice about six to eight weeks before they travel.”
It will be Leah Andrewartha’s second visit to Brazil when she travels there for the World Cup starting on June 12.
She says she didn’t hesitate to take any precautions required before leaving.
“It’s definitely worthwhile, just knowing that if I do that now I’m going to be able to experience the best part of Brazil without getting sick.
She says tourists in Brazil need to take some other precautions as well while venturing around the vast South American nation.
“I think you always need to be on the lookout for things such as theft. It’s around the world. And also just being really, just being really aware of yourself and trying to take care of yourself and the people you’re travelling with, but that’s anywhere in the world.”
The Australian Government’s Smart Traveller website provides advice for people planning to travel to Brazil for the World Cup.
It says Australian passport holders need a visa for Brazil and that tourists should exercise a high degree of caution due to the levels of serious crime there.
The Australian Government says the violence includes muggings, armed robberies, kidnappings, sexual assaults and carjackings.
It also warns that protests, which have followed the announcement of Brazil hosting the World Cup should be avoided because they can turn violent.
But Brazilian-Australian Gelcimar Freire, who lives in Sydney, says Brazil does have its problems, but he expects visitors will have a great time.
“In my opinion it will be fantastic. It will be a huge success, but that’s just my opinion and despite all the media around the world questioning whether the beautiful game would turn ugly in Brazil and son, look, it could happen, but I truly do not believe it will. I believe it will be a huge, huge success in Brazil.
He says people should take safety precautions, just like they should wherever they travel, but they should also expect a party.
“Rio (de Janeiro) is an amazing, an amazing place to be, the people themselves, the most languages, the most cultures in Brazil, the restaurants. Well, the restaurants, talking about Sao Paulo, the nightlife. That will be show. It is magnificant.”
And Leah Andrewartha, who will be visiting Brazil for the second time, agrees.
“I’m expecting it to be one of the world’s greatest parties. As soon as I found out the World Cup was going to be held in Brazil it was one of my goals to work towards getting back over there. They absolutely love football. It’s passionate, it’s really exciting so I’m really looking forward to getting back over there and being amongst that.”