Olympics 2012: Staying Healthy at the Games

Jun 15, 2012, 6:29 PM, Posted by NewPublicHealth

Most of the millions of people traveling to the 2012 Olympic Games in London already have their travel reservations and event tickets, so there’s time to make sure you have the vaccinations, health records and medications you might need, and to bone up on how to access care if it’s needed during the Games.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reminding travelers that some common medical terms are different in the UK such as:

  • jabs (vaccines)
  • chemist (pharmacist)
  • giddy (dizzy)
  • A&E (emergency room).

This information can also help you keep healthy, or access care if you need it.

Up to date on vaccines?

The vaccine that protects against measles is especially important, according to the CDC and the World Health Organization. Measles outbreaks are occurring in some areas of Europe, and in 2011, more than 30,000 people in Europe got measles. Un-vaccinated Americans who travel abroad can get measles and bring it to the United States and infect others.

Check your medical insurance coverage

You may need topurchase medical travel insurance to cover unexpected health services while in the UK.

Call 999!

The Emergency Number in the UK is 999, not 911. And Emergency Rooms are called A&Es for "Accidents and Emergencies."

Be a Smart Traveler

Register with the Department of State’s STEP program (Smart Traveler Enrollment Program). The program makes it easier for U.S. embassies or consulates to help you access care or evacuation plans if you become ill or are injured. The program also provides health alerts and updates for your travel destinations.

The CDC and the UK’s National Health Service have more information on staying healthy and accessing care at the Olympic Games this summer. And check the website of the Transportation Security Administration for information on traveling with a disability or medical supplies.

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF New Public Health blog.