The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has released a report on the Olympics and Paralympics, which finds that the majority of Olympic and Paralymmic events will produce high numbers of infectious diseases.
The IOC’s World Health Assembly will make a recommendation for the 2020 Olympics in Beijing on Monday.
The report, entitled “The Games, Paralympic Games and Paralytic Games: An International Health Perspective,” highlights the risks that a number of the Games could pose to the global health system.
“The 2020 Olympic and/or Paralympal Games are a major event, with major economic and political consequences for global health,” said Dr. John F. Kennedy, chair of the IOC’s WHO committee.
“The most likely outcomes are that the Games will produce elevated levels of infections in populations, or increased transmission, as a result of the combined impact of high levels or high prevalence of infectious conditions in the host population.”
The report says the risk of high-level outbreaks in athletes and spectators is greater than the risk for all other athletes and visitors.
It notes that infectious disease in the Paralympian community has reached a high of 6 million cases and 10 million deaths during the Games, compared to about 2.3 million deaths in the general population.
While the overall prevalence of infections is lower than it was during the 1976 Summer Games in Mexico City, it still remains the highest among the Winter Olympics held since the 1960 Summer Games.
The Rio 2016 Winter Olympics in Brazil also produced an average of about 1,200 cases of the coronavirus each year.
That translates into about 6,000 deaths, the IOC said.
The WHO said that since 1996, the number of cases and deaths from the coronivirus in the U.S. have risen to about 14,000, the highest of any industrialized country.
The number of deaths in Rio has increased to more than 2,000 since August, according to the WHO.
The new report found that the incidence of coronaviruses in the United States increased from about 2,500 per 100,000 people in 1996 to more like 3,400 in 2020, an increase of more than 700 percent.
There was also a spike in coronaviral deaths among African-Americans, from an average about one death per 100 people in the mid-1990s to more on average about five deaths per 100 in the early 2000s, the report said.
But it said there were fewer cases of respiratory illness among people of color in 2020 than in 1996.