Taipei Chang Gung Memorial Hospital doctors yesterday said that they have prepared 200 Zika prevention packs for Taiwanese athletes and staff attending the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next month.
Although the Games are to begin in less than a month, the mosquito-borne Zika virus is still spreading in Brazil, the hospital’s sports medicine team said, adding that it has placed personal hygiene items and mosquito repellant in the packs.
Lin Yin-chou (林瀛洲), a physician and coordinator of the medical team that is to accompany Taiwanese athletes to Brazil, said that each pack contains a thermometer to be used to measure an athlete’s temperature every day and a facial mask to wear in crowded public spaces, as well as alcohol swabs, a bottle of hand disinfectant and a bottle of mosquito repellent.
Chen Nan-yu (楊政道), a physician in the hospital’s Division of Infectious Diseases, said the mosquito repellent is for preventing Zika infection, while face masks can protect the athletes from other airborne diseases, such as influenza.
The team said Zika’s main route of transmission is almost the same as dengue fever, as both can be transmitted by Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, with symptoms including fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain and conjunctivitis.
“Fever is a common symptom of infection, so if the athletes find their body temperature rising above 38oC, they should seek medical treatment as soon as possible,” Chen said.
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