A Guide for Traveling to Mass Gatherings

There are things that you should consider when traveling to mass gatherings. Mass gatherings are large crowds of people that collect at a particular location for a purpose. Examples of mass gatherings include sporting events, political rallies, concerts, religious observances, and festivals.

Generally, mass gatherings pose health risks to travelers. That’s because they bring large crowds of people to small spaces. This facilitates spread of prevalent infectious diseases. There are also higher injury risks in crowded places. And healthcare resources are not always able to meet the healthcare needs of all people in mass gatherings.

Important Considerations

There important things that you should consider whenever you travel to mass gatherings, whether locally or internationally. Essentially, these are the characteristics of the gatherings and possible health risks.

Here are the major factors to consider:

  • Local diseases- Take time to find out more about prevalent diseases in the local area. What diseases pose a risk to people that assemble at your destination and what are the best ways to avoid them?
  • Climate- When traveling to a mass gathering at a place with very cold or very hot climate, consider the best ways to avoid cold-or heat-related illnesses.
  • Crowd density- When people in a gathering are packed closely, the risk of injury is higher. Therefore, prepare accordingly.
  • Crowd characteristics- The purpose of a mass gathering, crowd age bracket, and whether alcohol and drugs will be used influence violence risk.

Taking Precaution

One of the most important precautionary measures to take is talking to a travel medicine expert. Ideally, make an appointment with this expert at least a month before the trip. A travel medicine expert will provide medicines or vaccines that will protect you from possible illnesses.

Other precautions to take include:

  • Staying up-to-date with routine immunization
  • Avoiding most crowded places or places with limited exits
  • Being careful when in places where people use drugs and alcohol
  • Paying attention to the nearest emergency exit and medical facility
  • Avoiding gatherings that can promote violence

Knowing the risks that you face when traveling to mass gathering is essential. Therefore, take time to conduct extensive research before you travel to a mass gathering.

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