London: Ahead of the London Olympics, Britain`s top health agency has advised visitors to always practice safe sex to ensure protection against any sexually transmitted infections.
Setting out the multi-level monitoring and response system for the Olympics, the Health Protection Agency (HPA) today said it was "Games ready" and released a list of practical steps for visitors, including the advice on safe sex.
There are reports that London could be "flooded with prostitutes" during the Olympics Games starting July 27.
"We want everyone to enjoy the Games safely and by taking practical steps like ensuring good hand hygiene, being up-to-date with routine vaccinations and practicing safe sex, it will help to ensure everyone stays healthy during this worldwide spectacle," Justin McCracken, chief executive of the HPA said.
The HPA has put in place three new systems: rapid laboratory testing, enhanced syndromic surveillance and undiagnosed serious infections illness surveillance.
HPA Olympics lead and director for London, Dr Brian McCloskey said: "In preparation for London 2012 we have put in place world class systems to monitor and respond rapidly to any outbreaks of infectious diseases or environmental hazards."
"These new and enhanced systems will provide the first indication of emerging infections in the community and hospitals if they are to occur," McCloskey said, adding "Our experts will analyse surveillance data daily to identify issues of public health significance that could have implications for the Games."
Besides the advice to practice safe sex, the HPA has urged visitors to take precautions like thoroughly washing hands with soap and warm water; If you become unwell with a stomach bug or flu-like illness, stay at home to avoid spreading the illness to other people.
The HPA also issued precautions like if you have to take medication for an existing condition make sure you carry it with you and have enough to last the duration of events being attended; ensure you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations as recommended by your home country.