Epidemics under control for Paris Games

Epidemics under control for Paris Games

PARIS GAMES: 11.3 million visitors expected for the 2024 Olympics Photo credit: dnovac

Approximately 11.3 million people will visit Paris and the Paris region between July 26 and August 11 for the Olympic Games.

A further 3.9 million will attend the Paralympic Games held from August 28 until September 8 and France’s health authorities are keeping a watchful eye – and taking steps to prevent – any type of epidemic.

With only a “few dozen” measles cases during the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010 and around 60 gastroenteritis cases during the Munich World Cup in 2006, few modern sporting events have been blighted by serious health scares.   The Euro Cup final, held in London in July 2021 during the Covid pandemic was an exception, when Public Health England statistics showed that 3,400 people became infected by Covid-19.

France’s Committee for Health Risk Monitoring and Anticipation (COVARS) has not yet referred to the Games although its president Brigitte Autran told the Le Monde newspaper that the authorities were well  aware of potential risks.

Meanwhile, the General Health Directorate (DGS) has identified 40 hazards present during all massively-attended events.  These range from bad weather to infectious diseases including the viruses transmitted by the tiger mosquito which has been present in France since 2004 and whose bite can carry dengue, Zika and chikungunya.

Dengue is currently the DGS’s main concern, as more than 2,000 known cases were brought into France by visitors and travellers in 2023, with another 45 cases occurring amongst residents.

Food poisoning could be another hazard while catering for an influx of millions, especially at the height of the summer when there could be failings in cold chain processes.

And although summer temperatures together with ultraviolet radiation and reduced humidity will combine to curtail the spread of Covid-19, Brigitte Autran said this could also be encouraged by the presence of large numbers of people in small spaces.

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Written by

Linda Hall

Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at editorial@euroweeklynews.com.