A Australian minister is warning professional tennis players to be vaccinated against the Ebola virus or be barred from the country’s massive tennis event in January.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said there’s “no doubt” that players may be at risk if they fail to get the influenza jab before leaving Australia’s tropical far north, and expressed disappointment they didn’t travel for the mandatory two-day World Health Organization measles vaccine session in Australia.
“The rugby community is vaccinated against measles, and so would tennis. They know what they’re entitled to do, so they’ve got to do it,” Hunt told The Australian newspaper.
The Australian Open, where 33 of the top 100 players are from Australia, takes place on Jan. 14-27, and is attended by more than 140,000 people. More than 120 players were screened at the World Health Organization workshop in Brisbane last week.
Though the disease’s vaccine is free of charge in Australia, one in 100 children will be infected with the virus, and it can cause vomiting and diarrhea, according to Hunt.
So far, no cases of Ebola have been reported in Australia.
Under the National Immunization Program, all children are required to be vaccinated against tetanus, diphtheria, poliomyelitis and influenza before leaving the country.
Ebola has only been seen in Africa.