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GPs should beware ‘World Cup fever’

By Nigel Praities

GPs should be vigilant for rare infections in patients who have travelled to South Africa for the World Cup, say medicolegal experts.

Experts from the Medical and Dental Defence Union of Scotland (MDDUS) warned GPs should consider the possibility of malaria, rabies and other conditions when diagnosing illness among patients who have visited South Africa this summer.

The 2010 World Cup kicks off next week, with around 25,000 England fans are expected to travel to South Africa for the football tournament.

The MDDUS warned there is currently an outbreak of Rift Valley fever in some areas of South Africa and health authorities in the region have now reported 186 human cases, including 18 deaths from the disease.

Dr John Holden, a senior medical adviser at MDDUS, said: ‘With so many fans across the UK expected to travel to South Africa for the World Cup, doctors are advised to bear in mind the possibility that some of their patients may have been exposed to diseases such as Rift Valley fever.’

‘Good clinical care, as recognised by the General Medical Council, includes making an adequate assessment of a patient’s condition, taking into account the relevant history, the patient’s views and where necessary examining the patient.’

GPs should beware ‘World Cup Fever’