2010 FIFA world cup South Africa: travel health issues and new options for protection against meningococcal disease.Travel Med Infect Dis. 2010 Mar; 8(2):68-73.TM
The public health implications of large crowds gathering at a range of key global events should never be underestimated. This is especially the case with the upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa programme where thousands of local and travelling spectators, players and officials from all over the world will be present. Although meningococcal disease contracted whilst actually travelling is relatively rare, any travel health risk assessment should involve consideration of potential exposure to and transmission of this disease where crowding occurs. In South Africa, for reasons not completely understood, the incidence of meningococcal disease is higher than in most European countries. Whilst the currently available polysaccharide vaccines can help protect travellers against meningococcal disease there are some well recognised limitations of such vaccines. These can, however, be overcome with the use of newly developed conjugated quadrivalent meningococcal vaccines. A quadrivalent conjugate vaccine should be the first choice for travellers to areas in which the risk of exposure to meningococcal disease is significant. The conjugated quadrivalent meningococcal vaccine should be recommended for all those attending or playing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa as well as similar global and regional events.