RUGBY fans have been warned about the risk of disease outbreaks at the World Cup in France.
According to NHS Fit For Travel, cases of dengue fever and tick-borne encephalitis have been detected in the country.
And people have been warned to remain on high alert over an outbreak of deadly botulism in Bordeaux that has left one person dead and eight hospitalized.
According to health authorities, crowds of fans in and around stadiums also increase the risk of the spread of diseases such as Covid-19 and gastrointestinal illnesses.
NHS Fit For Travel said: “Crowds near stadiums and public transport increase the risk of infectious diseases leading to the spread of respiratory and/or gastrointestinal illnesses.”
“Always practice respiratory hygiene and hand hygiene and use safe food and water precautions at all times to reduce your risk of illness.”
More than 78,000 fans attended the opening game of the tournament, France against New Zealand, at the Stade de France last Friday, with people traveling from all over the world.
The new Covid Pirola variant, which has caused the vaccine rollout to be brought forward in the UK, is also currently widespread in France.
Cases were first detected in the east of the country two weeks ago, prompting officials to remind the public of the importance of isolating themselves if infected.
France is currently preparing its own vaccination campaign as scientists seek a better understanding of the highly mutated strain.
Fans have also been warned to remain vigilant as a rare food-borne botulism poisoning outbreak has broken out in one of the country’s key wine regions.
Irish fans flocked to Bordeaux to watch Ireland make a dream start to the World Cup with a record win against Romania.
It is associated with a specific restaurant and is believed to have originated from canned sardines made by the owner who served them at the popular wine bar.
Signs to look out for include blurred vision and difficulty swallowing and speaking, as well as diarrhea and vomiting.
Meanwhile, tick-borne encephalitis was detected 71 times between 2021 and this year, French health authorities said.
No deaths were recorded, but one patient was hospitalized.
The deadly disease causes brain swelling and is spread by ticks that hide in tall grass.
Symptoms include high fever, fatigue, headache, pain and nausea.
NHS Fit For Travel said: “Take appropriate insect and tick bite protection day and night to protect yourself – recommendations may vary in different parts of France, a large country.”
“Be aware of how to treat insect bites and remove ticks.”
Dengue fever was also spotted twice in August in southern France, near Marseille.
The infection is transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause a severe flu-like illness for which there is no treatment.
Symptoms include high fever, severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, nausea or vomiting, swollen glands, and a patchy rash.