Cup gets clean bill of health

The World Cup has attained a clean bill of health, so far.

The World Cup has attained a clean bill of health, so far.

No major diseases have been reported from the beginning of the tournament.

And, more interestingly, the famous icon of this first Fifa World Cup in Africa, the vuvuzela, has also been cleared of earlier fears that it might transmit aerosolised pathogens.

Instead, swearing, shouting and singing had a more realistic propensity to transmit airborne pathogens.

This revelation is contained in a report produced by the National Health Operations Centre, which is monitoring diseases for the duration of the World Cup.

Nathoc says there has been no major public health incident encountered so far despite the hundreds of thousands of visitors descending on our shores in the last five weeks.

"Apart from responding to routine incidents such as minor accidents, the Department of Health is encouraged that no major incidents have been reported," Fidel Hadebe, department spokesperson, said.

"However, we still urge everyone to prevent injuries and communicable diseases such as influenzas.

"Recent articles in the media have drawn attention to possible health risks posed by the blowing of vuvuzelas at public places such as stadiums, fan parks and public viewing areas.

The department, together with the National Institute of Communicable Diseases and World Health Organisation have reviewed the risk posed by this popular instrument," he said.

"A review of the published medical and other scientific literature has failed to reveal any articles that relate to vuvuzelas and disease transmission," Hadebe said.

l Meanwhile, the H1H1 influenza vaccination campaign is continuing in public hospitals and clinics. The groups being targeted include pregnant women, children living with HIV and people with underlying conditions like diabetes and hypertension.