Extensive planning and preparation by public health agencies were required
for the provision of public health services during the 1996 Centennial Olympic
Games, which brought together more than 10000 athletes from 197 countries
and more than 2 million visitors. Public health activities included the development
and use of an augmented surveillance system to monitor health conditions and
detect disease outbreaks; creation and implementation of 6 environmental health
regulations; establishment of a central Public Health Command Center and response
teams to coordinate response to public health emergencies; planning for potential
mass casualties and the provision of emergency medical services; implementation
of strategies for the prevention of heat-related illness; and distribution
of health promotion and disease prevention information. Public health agencies
should take the lead in organizing and implementing a system for preventing
and managing public health issues at future large-scale public events such
as the Olympics.
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