Health Advisories

Tips to Keep You Healthy and Safe During and After the Micro Games!

Mumps Alert and Advice for Travellers to the 9th Micro Games, Yap State, 2018

Mumps Alert
One confirmed case of mumps, and several suspected cases, have recently been reported in Yap State (in the outer island of Falalop, Woleai). Mumps outbreaks or circulation are also occurring in several countries in the Pacific (Chuuk State, Hawaii, New Zealand and Vanuatu), as well as other regions in the world.

About Mumps
Mumps is a common infectious disease in many parts of the world including the Pacific and is caused by a virus. The virus is spread through coughs and sneezes and an outbreak can occur where there is crowding such as in a dormitory with a person who has mumps. Spread of the virus can also occur through touching surfaces such as door knobs, use of cutlery, lipsticks, cigarettes, etc. that have been contaminated with saliva of an infected person. Some people who get mumps have very mild or no symptoms, often not knowing they have the disease. Most will experience complete recovery in a few weeks. However, mumps can occasionally cause complications, especially in adults leading to orchitis, encephalitis, meningitis, oophritis, mastitis and deafness. Mumps in pregnancy can be dangerous, with an increased risk of miscarriage in the first 3-4 months.

Treatment and Prevention of Mumps
Treatment is mainly symptomatic. Age-appropriate pain killers may help relieve some of the symptoms. Cold compress can help relieve some of the pain from the swollen glands. Mumps can be prevented with the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Before your travel

Prior to their travel, athletes and visitors are advised to ensure that they are protected against mumps.
The recommended vaccination schedule is the following:

  • Teenagers and adults who have no evidence of protection against mumps (those that had mumps are considered immune for life) should receive at least 2 doses of mumps-containing vaccine, given 28 days apart, before coming to Yap.
  • Children 12 months of age or older receive at least 2 doses of mumps-containing vaccine, given 28 days apart.

Reminder Regarding Vaccinations
You should be up-to-date on your routine and recommended vaccinations, including for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) as above mentioned, together with diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. You may also want to get vaccines for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid Fever, and seasonal influenza. Consult your general practitioner for more advice about vaccinations. Remember that some vaccines require some time to take effect, and more than one dose may be needed.

Health Advice for Travellers to the 9th Micronesian Games, Yap 2018

The Micronesian Games (or Micro Games) is a four-yearly international multi-sport event within the Micronesian region. A large number of athletes (over 1400) and visitors from Guam, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Yap, Chuuk, Pohnpei and Kosrae are expected to attend this year’s Micro Games. The Government of Yap is proud to be hosting the 9th Micro Games from 15 to 27 July 2018, and has decided to make it a Tobacco Free Micro Games to support and accelerate progress towards a Tobacco Free Pacific goal by 2025.

Yap is generally a safe island to visit. The large mass gathering, however, poses unique public health risks, not only to citizens of Yap, but also to visitors. The Government of Yap and its partners are working hard to ensure that your stay during the Micro Games is healthy and safe. But each visitor is equally responsible for protecting their health while in Yap. To protect yourself against illness and injury, please plan ahead and follow the health advice below.

BEFORE you travel

DURING the games

Vaccinations

You should be up-to-date on your routine and recommended vaccinations, including for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. You may also want to get vaccines for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid Fever, and seasonal influenza. Consult your general practitioner for more advice about vaccinations.

Food and Water Safety

To prevent illnesses transmitted through food and water, consume food that is thoroughly cooked, and wash fruits and vegetables if they are not peeled. Drink water that is safe and clean (no tap water). Follow food safety and water safety guidelines. Practise good hand hygiene, including washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before handling food and after going to the toilet. Although hand sanitising gel may be effective against respiratory pathogens, such as viruses that can cause influenza and the common cold, it may not be effective against gastrointestinal pathogens. Therefore, there is no substitute for good hand-washing with soap, running water and use of sanitary paper towel.

Physical Examination and Pre-existing Medical Conditions

You should be up-to-date on your routine and recommended vaccinations, including for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio. You may also want to get vaccines for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Typhoid Fever, and seasonal influenza. Consult your general practitioner for more advice about vaccinations.

Sexually Transmitted Infections

To reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections, such as HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhoea, practice safe sex and use condoms correctly.

Weather

In July the weather is generally hot and humid in Yap. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat to protect against sunburn and sun glare.

Smoke-free Areas

Games venues and villages will be completely smoke-free areas, including in public transportation, restaurants and bars.

The logo “Tobacco Free Micro Games YAP 2018” has been adapted with permission from the Government of Vanuatu logo “Tobacco Free Pacific Mini Games VANUATU 2017”.

Vector-Borne Diseases

Take measures to avoid, and to protect against, mosquitoes and insects that spread diseases, such as dengue fever and Zika by: wearing appropriate clothing, such as long-sleeved shirts and long pants; applying an insect repellent (containing one of the following substances: DEET, picaridin, citriodiol, IR3535) to exposed skin; treating clothes with permethrin for added protection; and sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets.

Heat

Dehydration and heat-related illness are common in mass gatherings in tropical climates. Avoid long exposure to the sun during the day and wear sunscreen (and take other precautions mentioned above) to avoid sunburn. Stay hydrated by frequently drinking safe water.

Road Safety

In Yap people drive on the right-hand side of the road. Be mindful of this when you are crossing roads, and of course be very careful when driving if you are not used to this. It is also wise to drive slowly and avoid drinking and driving.

IF YOU DO NOT FEEL WELL
hhave fever, have diarrhoea and/or are vomiting, go quickly to the nearest clinic (health-care centre).

EMERGENCY
In the event of a serious illness or injury:
call 911 or 350-3333 (Police and fire emergency)
or 350-3446 (Hospital and ambulance)

AFTER the games

If you develop any illness after returning from Yap, you have the obligations to notify immigration and local healthcare authorities. You should report any illnesses you have developed, and indicate your travel history.

GENERAL ADVICE for everyone

Practise healthy habits, such as good hand hygiene and proper coughing and sneezing etiquette (cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve).
To stay fit and healthy: do not smoke; avoid binge drinking of alcohol and homebrew; avoid drugs and substance abuse; eat more vegetables and fruits; and be physically active every day.