Health risks and travel preparation among foreign visitors and expatriates during the 2008 Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games.Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2010 Mar; 82(3):466-72.AJ
During the 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games, we conducted surveillance of illnesses among travelers at six Beijing clinics. Surveys asked about demographic, pre-travel, and vaccination information, and physician-provided diagnoses. Of 807 respondents, 38% and 57% were classified as foreign visitors (FV) and expatriates, respectively. Less than one-half of FV sought pre-travel advice; sources included health-care providers and friends/family. FV vaccination rate was also low; however, most vaccines given were recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The most common FV diagnoses were respiratory, injury/musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal illnesses; for expatriates, injury/musculoskeletal, respiratory, and dermatologic were the most common illnesses. Respiratory illnesses in expatriates were significantly less in 2008 than during 2004-2007 (chi(2) = 10.2; P = 0.0014), suggesting that control programs may have reduced pollutants/respiratory irritants during the 2008 Games. We found no previous studies of health outcomes among expatriates living in cities with mass travel events. These findings highlight the need to continuously disseminate information to health-care providers advising travelers.