Monitoring helps health authorities respond effectively and promptly to potential health risks during mass-attendance events

Washington, D.C., 11 June 2014 (PAHO/WHO) - The Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) is conducting an enhanced surveillance and activating mechanisms of information exchange about public health events during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, which takes place in Brazil from 12 June to 13 July.

The goal is to rapidly detect any events that could have an impact on regional or global public health, enabling health authorities to take timely and appropriate action to respond to risks and minimize any impact on people's health.

In the coming days, hundreds of thousands of people will travel to Brazil to attend soccer matches taking place in 12 World Cup venues. Intensified international travel and population movement associated with mass events such as the World Cup can have an impact in the host country as well as at the regional or global level. For the host country, mass gatherings can overload health services because of the large numbers of people, and visitors from other parts of the world can potentially import or export infectious diseases.

To ensure early detection of public health events, PAHO/WHO is intensifying disease and event surveillance from 5 June to 25 July. The increased surveillance will cover not only events in Brazil but also events elsewhere in the Americas and in other regions that could have an impact on the World Cup.

PAHO/WHO is sharing daily reports generated through this stepped-up surveillance with health authorities in Brazil and in other countries of the Americas and worldwide.

A series of health resources for travelers to the 2014 FIFA World Cup is available on the PAHO/WHO website. The resources include an interactive map with health information related to cities hosting the World Cup games.

PAHO/WHO, founded in 1902, is the world's oldest international public health organization. It works with the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of WHO and is the specialized agency for health of the inter-American system.