November 21, 2007
On Tuesday, the Australian Olympic team's doctors advised athletes attending next year's games in Beijing to forego getting traditional celebratory tattoos until they are back at home. The doctors are concerned the tattoos could transmit hepatitis B, which is widespread in China. "People need to be aware of the dangers, people go and get the rings tattooed and it's an issue," Dr. Peter Baquie told the Sydney Morning Herald. He also cautioned the 478-member team that there is a high rate of HIV among sex workers in China. All team members are offered immunizations against hepatitis B, hepatitis A, typhoid, and other diseases, but that is no guarantee against infection, he said.