The European Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has published a rapid risk assessment to assess the risk of outbreaks and transmission of communicable diseases during the WorldPride festival period taking place in Madrid in June 2017.
For respiratory and vector-borne diseases, the risk is considered low, for food and waterborne diseases the risk is low to moderate, for vaccine-preventable diseases, it is moderate and for sexually transmitted infections, the risk is moderate to high.
WorldPride Madrid 2017 is the global lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival to held in Madrid between 23 June and 2 July 2017. Due to the current epidemiological situation in Spain and rest of the EU, prior to attendance, participants should consider seeking advice from their healthcare provider and ensure they have valid health insurance or obtain a European Health Card, if applicable.
They should ensure they are up to date with routine vaccination courses and boosters as recommended in their EU country of residence, and discuss the need for additional vaccinations or booster doses.
In addition, participants should obtain advice on STI-prevention prior to attendance. Men who have sex with men (MSM) in particular, should check their vaccination status against hepatitis A and B, in the context of the ongoing hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection outbreaks affecting MSM in EU countries. They should also ask their healthcare provider about national recommendations on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).
During the event, participants should follow standard hygiene measures and advice on the prevention of food and waterborne diseases to decrease the risk of gastrointestinal illness, and consider general hygiene practices when consuming food and drink. Participants should practice safer sex using condoms to prevent sexually transmitted infections, including HIV and hepatitis B and C.
They should also avoid faecal-oral exposure during sexual activity and ensure proper personal hygiene to prevent other infections.
After the event, if experiencing symptoms of infection or in case of unprotected sexual contact with a person or persons of unknown infection status, the participants should contact a healthcare provider for advice on testing for STI, including HIV and viral hepatitis. They could also use the European Test Finder to identify the most conveniently located testing centre.
Outbreaks and spread of vaccine-preventable diseases are of particular concern during mass gatherings of any type due to the large number of people gathering in a concentrated geographical area.
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