England’s players have been warned about the “truly devastating consequences” of tick-borne encephalitis given its prevalence in the area around their World Cup base.
Gareth Southgate’s men jet off to Russia on Tuesday for this summer’s tournament, where they will be based at the forRestMix Club in Repino on the outskirts of St Petersburg.
However, the remote area Harry Kane and Co will call home during the World Cup comes with a health risk, as do some of the places England fans may visit.
Russia has the highest number of reported TBE cases globally and Repino is considered a moderately high zone of a virus the Encephalitis Society calls a “serious health concern”.
Ava Easton, chief executive of The Encephalitis Society, said in a statement to Press Association Sport: “football fans will likely be travelling to sites in Russia where there is a risk of TBE, such as areas like Repino where the England team will be based, and in Nizhny Novgorod for their second game, where the risk is even higher than in Repino.
“It is recommended that anyone planning to spend time outdoors in these TBE endemic European countries speak to their healthcare professional and take measures to help protect themselves from this disease, which can have truly devastating consequences.”
Easton says the risk of TBE is increased for those undergoing outdoor activities in forested or grassy areas, with an infected bite potentially resulting “in a severe illness”.
The NHS say “the risk of getting seriously ill is low” even if bitten, but the viral infection that attacks the central nervous system can cause encephalitis, meningitis or inflammation of the tissues that surround the brain or spinal cord.
Long-term complications include convulsions and paralysis, with the most severe cases leading to death.
The annual number of TBE cases in Russia that are severe enough to require hospitalisation ranges from 5,500 to 10,000.
Press Association Sport understands the Football Association will be taking all necessary precautions during England’s stay in Russia.
Advice on the German Football Association website to fans said getting a TBE vaccination was “important”.
Provided by Press Association Sport
It led to defeat for Liverpool, an outcry in Egypt and a race against time for the forward who was set to be one of the stars of the summer in Russia.
However, Salah was only too happy to reveal the good news in an interview with Marca that he has a good chance of seeing the field against Uruguay on June 15.
Asked if the injury was the worst moment of his career, Salah replied: “Yes, it was.
“When I fell to the ground, I had a mixture of physical pain and a lot of worry. Also anger and sadness for not being able to continue playing the Champions League final.
“Moments later, I also thought about the possibility of not playing in the World Cup and that was a devastating thought.
“Now I’m better. I hope to play the first game against Uruguay, but that will depend on how I feel when it approaches.”
Arsenal forward Welbeck has never been a prolific scorer at club level but boasts an impressive return for the Three Lions, heading home his 16th goal in 39 appearances during Thursday’s 2-0 friendly win at Elland Road.
Beckham was in his prime at Manchester United when Welbeck came through the Old Trafford youth set-up, making him a particularly notable target.
“Everybody watched David Beckham growing up, it’s nice to hear I’m one away,” he told Press Association Sport.
“Obviously I want to keep on getting more game time for England and scoring more goals. I’m looking forward to achieving that but I don’t want to rest on my laurels, I want to keep improving.
“My most outstanding moments watching England were Michael Owen’s goal (against Argentina) in ’98 and Beckham’s free-kick against Greece at Old Trafford. He was such an inspiration for players all around the world.”
Welbeck was the only outfield player in Southgate’s 23-man squad who did not start against Nigeria or Costa Rica, though he did come off the bench in both games.
Nevertheless he faces a battle on his hands to break into the side in Russia.
Captain Harry Kane is inked in at centre forward, Marcus Rashford’s blockbuster strike on Thursday did his cause no harm at all and Jamie Vardy’s pace offers another option.
Welbeck is happy to be judged against a high bar and is ready to make a difference if called upon.
“Marcus scored a hell of a goal and Vards was dangerous through the whole game, there’s a lot of competition in the squad,” said the 27-year-old.
“But I have a good record scoring goals for England. I’ll always make those runs and be there to try and stick it in the back of the net.
“That healthy competition ups everyone’s game. Every time we meet up with the squad there’s great camaraderie, it’s a very enjoyable environment to be in and I’m really excited for the coming weeks.”
Provided by Press Association Sport