There we all were, naively thinking the Olympics would bring pride, excitement and tourism revenue to London this summer. But what none of us has properly accounted for, according to six new papers published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, are the health risks to visitors of stampedes, heatstroke and mass infections. Events ranging from Barack Obama's inauguration and Glastonbury through to the Hajj pilgrimage and football World Cups have all provided evidence that is now being used to minimise the health risks that will accompany the London games.

A system called Bio Diaspora will be used, which tracks air traffic to help anticipate the global spread of diseases. The internet will also be closely monitored to spot early geographical evidence of “disease activity”. Computer models are being run to assess a range of different crowd movement scenarios. The same was done at last year's Notting Hill Carnival, where scientists simulated the ways crowds might interact and disperse, so they could manage crowd flow more effectively.— © Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2012

More In: Comment | Opinion