Volume 18, Issue 32, 08 August 2013
Surveillance and outbreak reports
International infectious disease surveillance during the London Olympic and Paralympic Games 2012: process and outcomes
J Jones 1, J Lawrence1, L Payne Hallström2, J Mantero2, H Kirkbride3, A Walsh3, D Jermacane4, H Simons5, K M Hansford6, E Bennett6, M Catchpole7, on behalf of the international team8
Surveillance for possible international infectious disease threats to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, United Kingdom, was conducted from 2 July to 12 September 2012 by a collaborative team comprising representatives from the Health Protection Agency (Public Health England since April 2013), the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the National Travel Health Network and Centre. Team members enhanced their usual international surveillance activities and undertook joint risk assessments of incidents identified as relevant through an agreed set of criteria designed for the Games and using tools developed for this purpose. Although team members responded to a range of international disease incidents as part of their routine roles during this period, no incident was identified that represented a threat to the Games. Six incidents were highlighted by the team that were likely to attract media attention and hence could generate political and public concern. Responding to such concern is an important aspect of the overall public health management of mass gathering events. The lessons learned about the process and outcomes of the enhanced international surveillance will help inform planning by future hosts of similar events.