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GAZZETTA MEDICA ITALIANA ARCHIVIO PER LE SCIENZE MEDICHE

A Journal on Internal Medicine and Pharmacology


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Gazzetta Medica Italiana Archivio per le Scienze Mediche 2013 December;172(12):963-7

language: English

Potential hazards for infectious diseases transmitted by wild animals during physical activity in the Tijuca National Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Pereira Igreja R.

Cives Travel Clinic Departamento de Medicina Preventiva Faculdade de Medicina Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


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There are plenty of outdoor activities to take part in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One great option for good physical activity is the Tijuca National Park (TNP). The 4.2 km (and 400m ascent) between the Portão dos Macacos and Mesa do Imperador in the TNP is almost an open air fitness center. I have been walking there since January 2011 for physical activity purpose and I could see a rich wildlife. But from my point of view of specialist in Infectious and Parasitic Diseases I noted that some animals observed could be source of diseases for athletes training there. Traumatic injuries are better documented and intervention strategies have been successful in reducing injuries. This has not been the case for non- traumatic injuries. The aim of this paper is to warn about the potential risks for infectious diseases transmitted by wild animals during physical activity in the TNP. Capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) can be seen often and all over the way. Non-human primates are reservoirs of various zoonosis, including rabies. Bothrops and Micrurus snakes were also seen on the road. Immobilization of the affected limb and application of a pressure bandage that does not restrict blood flow are recommended first-aid measures. Other animals seen were opossum, coati and paca that may be reservoirs for Trypanosoma cruzi, Rickettsia rickettsii and Echinococcus vogeli. Zoonotic infections may occur during outdoor activities and to reduce the risk of illness or injury while exercising, knowledge of potential risks before engaging in these activities is important.

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