RP delegation given counter-measures for Zika and jetlag
by rick olivares
Dr. Ferdinand Brawner, physical therapist of the Philippine delegation to the Olympic Games Rio De Janeiro has prescribed some measures for athletes, coaches, and officials.
During the mission briefing last Monday, July 18, Dr. Brawner discussed not only the Zika Virus concern that has seen many an athlete for different countries withdraw their participation in the Summer Games. Golfer Angelo Que has pulled out because of this health concern.
“In Brazil right now, a lot of what is being talked about is preventive medicine,” said Brawner who is also a medical doctor who specializes in preventive medicine. “The primary concern is the Zika Virus that is transmitted by mosquitos. The symptoms between dengue and zika are the same except that the intensity is greater for dengue.”
The Philippine team doctor listed some measures to counter the Zika virus.
“Everyone will be provided repellant before we depart Manila. When we arrive in Brazil, Olympic officials will also provide us with more repellant.”
Wear loose clothing
“I have recommended that everyone wear loose clothing as opposed to tight clothing because mosquitos can bite through tight gear. The looser clothes disorient them. Everyone should also spray their clothes with repellant. Not just the skin but their clothes. If they don’t spray on their clothes, if they are wearing jackets, the repellant won’t work."
“We have recommended to all members of our mission that they take the Thiamine B1 vitamin. When you take this, it emits a smell that mosquitos do not like.”
On the non-Zika side, Dr. Brawner pointed out three major concerns:
“Everyone should constantly hydrate. The water will regulate everything. The heart will regulate the body. The trick to counter the time zone difference is to adjust your body clock while in the aircraft to Brazils’ time. That means you sleep when it’s night time in Brazil. It takes a little bit of discipline and monitoring but these are finely-tuned and disciplined athletes so I am not worried."
Proper eating habits
“Brazil is a tropical country that is very much like ours. Bacteria quickly grows on food because of the humidity. I’d rather that before they eat something that they aren’t sure of, they should inform me right away so we monitor that. It is best to stick to the regular diet until the competition is over.
“We have instructed everyone who is taking certain prescriptions for therapeutic treatment to declare them. We will match this against the list of prohibited drugs. If they are taking something then we can apply for therapeutic exception. They have to prove that it is for medical concerns. As long as they have the paper that allows their use for therapeutic concerns they do not have to be worried."
“And lastly, everyone in the delegation must inform me immediately if they have headaches, fever or are feeling nauseous so we can immediately treat them and monitor them,” explained the team physio-therapist. “Part of competing well is preparing well. And I hope that we can help our athletes to the best of their abilities."