Olympic Games draws in huge crowds as well as germs
July 23rd, 2012

The 2012 London Olympic Games will bring together a population of more than eight million residents, three million visitors and 14,000 athletes from more than 200 countries.

In a global society that has become increasingly aware of the threat of pandemics and the need for constant vigilance, the sheer scope of the event is daunting.

People will get sick. That is a given.

The likelihood of a serious public-health emergency is small — but exists nonetheless. The worst-case scenario in London would be the emergence of a new infectious disease that could be readily transmitted. Again, the chances are remote.

Just weeks before the games the entire Australian women’s water polo team was quarantined after a coach and several athletes were diagnosed with whooping cough (they have recovered and will compete at the games), which proves two things. First, anything can happen. Second, public-health authorities are keeping a close eye on worrisome situations.


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