The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recently published a new report on the threats posed by communicable diseases on the old continent. This is the update for the 45th week of 2022 (from November 6th to 12th) and includes monitoring of certain diseases occurring during the celebration of the World football coup organized by FIFA in Qatar. The European panel focuses its analysis on diseases such as measles, MERS-CoV, Covid-19, monkeypox, West Nile virus, diphtheria, Ebola virus disease, avian influenza, seasonal influenza and S. sonnei (Main bacterial pathogen of shigellosis).
The sporting event will take place from November 20th to December 18th, 2022. A total of 32 countries meet, e.g 10 European nations: Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, Denmark, Croatia, Serbia and Poland. A total of 6 matches will be played in eight stadiums in five different cities in Qatar.
According to the analysis carried out by the ECDC, the diseases that pose a greater risk during the World Cup celebrations are the Covid-19the MERS-CoV and the monkey pox. Since the beginning of the pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 and as of November 9, 2022, the Qatar Ministry of Health has reported 472,587 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 684 deaths. The vaccination coverage against Covid-19 in Qatar is 98.86% of the eligible population when the primary immunization plan is completed. “Since late September 2022, there has been a decreasing trend in Covid-19 cases in Qatar,” the ECDC notes in its report.
The country recently revised its international travel measures related to Covid-19, meaning travelers arriving in Qatar no longer have to present a negative Covid-19 test (neither PCR nor antigen test).
“As is often the case with mass events such as the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, visitors may be at increased risk of gastrointestinal diseases and vaccine-preventable infections.”
Qatar has reported between one and three cases of in the past five years Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) per year. So far in 2022 two positive cases of MERS-CoV. The first cases of this viral respiratory disease were detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012.
According to information collected by the World Health Organization (WHO), the clinical spectrum of infection ranges from asymptomatic and/or mild cases to severe cases that can lead to death. It presents with fever, cough and difficulty breathing and often leads to pneumonia. As with SARS-CoV-2, the most vulnerable groups are the elderly, those with immunosuppression and those with chronic diseases.
MERS-CoV is a zoonotic virus and humans become infected through direct contact with infected dromedaries. Since 2012, infected dromedaries have been identified in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Oman and Qatar, and human cases in a total of 27 countries. when we talk about it Monkey Pox Qatar has confirmed five cases. The first of these cases was imported and the last was confirmed last September.
“As usually happens before mass gatherings like this FIFA World Cup 2022 in QatarVisitors may be at increased risk Gastrointestinal Diseases e vaccine-preventable infections. Therefore, travelers from the European Union and European Economic Area are advised to get vaccinated according to their national vaccination schedules and ensure they are immunized against the vaccine seasonal flu and that they have the updated fortifications of the vaccines against Covid-19,” the ECDC experts claim.
They also recommend compliance basic hygiene measures such as frequent hand washing, drinking mineral water, eating perfectly prepared food, carefully washing fruits and vegetables with drinking water before consumption and staying in the hotel in case of symptoms that may be related to any of the diseases described in this context.
ECDC has announced that it will continue to issue weekly updates on the situation communicable diseases in Qatar. Its epidemiological surveillance work will continue for up to a week after the end of the World Cup.
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