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Health Recommendations for International Travel [keywords]
- Hepatitis B and C infection in international travelers. [Journal Article]
- J Travel Med 2013 May; 20(3):194-202.
Hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV) cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. With the rise in international travel over the last three decades, many travelers are at risk of HBV and HCV infection.This review focuses on the epidemiology of HBV and HCV in international travelers, the modes of transmission, and the prevention of infection in travelers.The risk of HBV and HCV infection varies widely and depends on the prevalence of the destination country, the duration of travel, and the activities undertaken while abroad. Travelers commonly undertake high-risk activities that place them at risk of both HBV and HCV infection. Poor uptake of preventative health measures and poor adherence to health recommendations are also common. The monthly incidence of HBV infection for long-term travelers to endemic countries ranges from 25 to 420 per 100,000 travelers. HBV infection can be prevented through timely vaccination of travelers. HBV vaccination is safe and efficacious with protective levels of antibodies achieved in >90% of recipients. Information regarding the risk of HCV acquisition is scarce and until recently was limited to case reports following medical interventions.This review demonstrates international travelers are at risk of HBV and HCV infection and provides evidence-based information enabling health practitioners to provide more appropriate pre-travel advice. HBV vaccination should be considered in all travelers to countries with a moderate to high HBV prevalence (HBsAg ≥ 2%) and the risk and benefits discussed with the individuals in consultation with the health practitioner. There is no duration of travel without risk of HBV infection. However, it is apparent that those travelers with a longer duration of travel are at greatest risk of HBV infection (ie, expatriates). Travelers should also receive advice regarding the modes of transmission and the activities that place them at risk of both HBV and HCV infection.
- The global availability of rabies immune globulin and rabies vaccine in clinics providing direct care to travelers. [Journal Article]
- J Travel Med 2013 May; 20(3):148-58.
Rabies, which is globally endemic, poses a risk to international travelers. To improve recommendations for travelers, we assessed the global availability of rabies vaccine (RV) and rabies immune globulin (RIG).We conducted a 20-question online survey, in English, Spanish, and French, distributed via e-mail to travel medicine providers and other clinicians worldwide from February 1 to March 30, 2011. Results were compiled according to the region.Among total respondents, only 190 indicated that they provided traveler postexposure care. Most responses came from North America (38%), Western Europe (19%), Australia and South and West Pacific Islands (11%), East and Southeast Asia (8%), and Southern Africa (6%). Approximately one third of 187 respondents stated that patients presented with wounds from an animal exposure that were seldom or never adequately cleansed. RIG was often or always accessible for 100% (n = 5) of respondents in the Middle East and North Africa; 94% (n = 17) in Australia and South and West Pacific Islands; 20% (n = 1) in Tropical South America; and 56% (n = 5) in Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. Ninety-one percent (n = 158) of all respondents reported that RV was often or always accessible. For all regions, 35% (n = 58) and 26% (n = 43) of respondents felt that the cost was too high for RIG and RV, respectively.The availability of RV and RIG varied by geographic region. All travelers should be informed that RIG and RV might not be readily available at their destination and that travel health and medical evacuation insurance should be considered prior to departure. Travelers should be educated to avoid animal exposures; to clean all animal bites, licks, and scratches thoroughly with soap and water; and to seek medical care immediately, even if overseas.
- Business travelers: vaccination considerations for this population. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Expert Rev Vaccines 2013 Apr; 12(4):453-66.
Illness in business travelers is associated with reduced productivity on the part of the employee as well as the employer. Immunizations offer a reliable method of preventing infectious diseases for international business travelers. The authors review the travel patterns of business travelers, available data on illnesses they encounter, their potential travel-associated risks for vaccine-preventable diseases and recommendations on immunizations for this population. Routine vaccines (e.g., measles, tetanus and influenza) should be reviewed to assure that they provide current coverage. The combined hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine with a rapid schedule offers options for those with time constraints. Other vaccine recommendations for business travelers need to focus on their destinations and activities and underlying health, taking into account the concept of cumulative risk for those with frequent travel, multiple trips or long stays.
- Vaccinations for international travellers travelling from Greece. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Travel Med Infect Dis 2013 Feb 20.
The aim of this prospective, questionnaire-based study is to assess pre-travel vaccinations for international travellers who receive pre-travel advice in Greece. A total of 2494 travellers were studied from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2010. Travellers sought pre-travel advice at a median of 16 days (range: 0-349 days) before departure. Sub-Saharan Africa was the most common destination (34.7%). Most travellers (60.8%) travelled for <1 month, for recreation purposes (58.9%), stayed in hotels (65.3%), and in urban areas (53.6%). Yellow fever, tetravalent meningococcal, typhoid fever, cholera, and rabies vaccines were administered to 1629 (65.3%), 666 (26.7%), 615 (24.7%), 28 (1.1%), and/or 12 (0.5%) travellers, respectively. Of those who received Yellow fever vaccine, 737 (45.2%) travelled to sub-Saharan Africa, 332 (20.4%) travelled to South America, 949 (58.3%) stayed for short term, and 762 (46.8%) stayed in urban areas. Of the 1629 travellers vaccinated against Yellow fever, 150 (9.2%) and 226 (13.8%) travelled to areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South America respectively, where the vaccine is not or generally not recommended. Of those travellers who received meningococcal vaccine, 327 (49.1%) travelled to the Middle East for the Hajj, 251 (29%) travelled to sub-Saharan Africa, 410 (61.6%) for short term, and 540 (64.4%) stayed in urban areas. Of those travellers who received typhoid vaccine, 241 (39.2%) travelled to sub-Saharan Africa, 78 (12.7%) to the Indian subcontinent, 234 (38%) for short term, and 419 (68.1%) stayed in urban areas. Regarding routine vaccines, tetanus-diphtheria, poliomyelitis, and measles-mumps-rubella vaccines were administered to 707 (28.3%), 639 (25.6%) and/or 149 (6%) travellers, respectively. Of those to whom poliomyelitis vaccine was recommended, 295 (46.2%) and 137 (21.4%) travelled to sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East, respectively, and 362 (56.7%) travelled for short term. In conclusion, this study revealed that there is a need for more selective vaccine recommendations for travellers to developing countries, taking under consideration travellers and travel characteristics as well. Strategies to target travel health consultants should be developed in order to increase awareness in travel health issues.
- Swedish recommendations on recreational diving and diabetes mellitus. [Journal Article]
- Diving Hyperb Med 2012 Dec; 42(4):231-3.
Divers from many countries travel to explore various diving sites worldwide. In 2005, the Divers Alert Network (DAN) wrote guidelines for recreational diving and diabetes mellitus, but there is no up-to-date consensus or adoption of international guidelines on diabetes and diving. There are also large differences between the regulations in different countries. This is potentially both a medical and an insurance problem for a diver with diabetes. We present the current Swedish recommendations for recreational divers with Type 1 diabetes mellitus.
- Trends and risk factors for hepatitis A in NSW, 2000-2009: the trouble with travel. [Journal Article]
- N S W Public Health Bull 2012 Sep; 23(7-8):153-7.
To analyse trends in hepatitis A notifications and information on exposure to risk factors, in particular international travel, collected through routine surveillance in NSW.Hepatitis A notification data for the period 2000-2009 were extracted from the Notifiable Diseases Database and analysed by age group, gender, area of residence and exposure risk factors, including travel, food eaten and contact with other possible infectious cases.The notification rate for hepatitis A in NSW fell from 3.0 cases per 100000 population in 2000 to 1.4 cases per 100000 population in 2009. Notification rates were highest among people aged 20-24 years and residents of metropolitan Sydney. Travel to a country where hepatitis A is endemic was a risk exposure identified in 43% of cases.International travel to highly endemic countries continues to be the most common risk factor for hepatitis A infection notified in NSW despite recommendations that travellers be vaccinated prior to travel to these areas.
- The changing epidemiology of hepatitis A in Arizona following intensive immunization programs (1988-2007). [Journal Article]
- Vaccine 2012 Sep 14; 30(42):6103-10.
Arizona had the highest hepatitis A incidence of any U.S. state during 1987-1997. In 1995, the first hepatitis A vaccines became available in the U.S. A series of hepatitis A vaccination policies and recommendations were implemented in 1996-2006. Our objective was to examine the shifting epidemiologic patterns in hepatitis A in Arizona from 1988 to 2007.Passive surveillance reports to the Arizona Department of Health Services were used to compare hepatitis A rates by age, race/ethnicity and geographic area, before and after widespread vaccination. Reported risk factors and possible sources of infection were compared for two time periods. Age-adjusted incidence during three periods was mapped.Overall hepatitis A incidence in Arizona fell from 58 cases per 100,000 in 1988 to 2 per 100,000 in 2007. The proportion of reported cases among children dropped from 62% in 1994-1995 to 32% in 2006-2007. Racial/ethnic disparities between American Indians and non-Hispanic White populations have been eliminated. The geographic distribution of cases within the state has shifted. Earlier cases were likely to report contact with another hepatitis A case or childcare facilities, while later cases indicated recent international travel.A major shift in the overall burden of hepatitis A and hepatitis A transmission has occurred in Arizona since the widespread implementation of immunization policies and the concomitant rise in vaccination rates in the state. Current transmission has shifted to older age groups and disparities by race/ethnicity are now highest in Hispanic populations. Future strategies to further reduce hepatitis A transmission may require broadening recommendations to include general adult populations without previous vaccination history.
- Quantitative assessment of passenger flows in Europe and its implications for tracing contacts of infectious passengers. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Euro Surveill 2012; 17(24)
In contrast to air travel, there are no recommendations on tracing ground transport passengers exposed to infectious pathogens. We analysed European statistics on passenger transport in different conveyances and conducted expert workshops to discuss environmental conditions in ground transport, indications and minimal datasets required for contact tracing. Transport performance in the 27 countries of the European Union increased from 5.3 x 10(12) passenger kilometres (pkm) in 1995 to 6.5 x 10(12) pkm in 2007. Each resident generated on average 13,092 pkm in 2007, of which 2,062 pkm were public ground transport and 1,155 pkm in air transport. In the same year in Germany the total passenger volume in all different conveyances was 67,937 million. Public ground transport accounted for a passenger volume of 11,387 million (16.8%) and air transport for 129 million (0.2%). High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration is frequently used in airplanes but not in ground transport vehicles. Therefore opportunities for disease transmission in public ground transport are not necessarily lower than in air travel. However, contact tracing is rarely conducted in these settings because of immense logistic challenges.Indication for contact tracing should be revisited, including all kinds of passenger transport.
- The role of international travel in the worldwide spread of multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't, Review]
- J Antimicrob Chemother 2012 Sep; 67(9):2090-100.
From international tourists to war-displaced refugees, more people are on the move than ever before. This provides the opportunity for a variety of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria to be carried from one geographic location to another. The Enterobacteriaceae are among the most important causes of serious hospital-acquired and community-onset bacterial infections in humans, and resistance to antimicrobial agents in these bacteria has become an increasingly relevant problem. International travel and tourism are important modes for the acquisition and spread of antimicrobial-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, especially CTX-M-producing Escherichia coli. Infections with KPC-, VIM-, OXA-48- and NDM-producing Enterobacteriaceae in developed countries have been associated with visiting and being hospitalized in endemic areas such as the USA, Greece and Israel for KPCs, Greece for VIMs, Turkey for OXA-48, and the Indian subcontinent for NDMs. To combat the spread of antimicrobial-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, the French Healthcare Safety Advisory Committee recently issued national recommendations for screening and contact isolation precautions for patients transferred from, or hospitalized outside, France. For effective public and patient health interventions, it is important to understand the role of international travel in the spread of antimicrobial-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. We urgently need well-designed studies to evaluate the transmission potential and risks for colonization and infections due to multiresistant Enterobacteriaceae in travellers who have recently visited or have been hospitalized in endemic areas. The emergence of CTX-M-, KPC- and NDM-producing bacteria is a good example of the role that globalization plays in the rapid dissemination of new antibiotic resistance mechanisms.
- Time spent traveling in motor vehicles and its association with overweight and abdominal obesity in Colombian adults who do not own a car. [Journal Article]
- Prev Med 2012 Jun; 54(6):402-4.
This study examined associations between time spent traveling in motor vehicles per week (TSTMV) and BMI and abdominal obesity (AO) among Colombian adults residing in urban areas who do not own car.Secondary data analysis of the 2005 National Nutrition Survey of Colombia was conducted. TSTMV was assessed using the long International Physical Activity Questionnaire. Body composition was measured in 7900 adults. Polytomous and binary logistic regressions were conducted, stratified by gender and adjusted for confounders, including physical activity (PA).Forty-two percent of participants were either overweight or obese according to their BMI, and 22.4% had AO. Males in the middle (10 to 149 min) and highest (>150 min) TSTMV tertiles were more likely to be overweight (POR=1.58, 95% CI=1.13-2.21 and POR=1.55, 95% CI=1.12-2.15 respectively, p-trend=0.012), obese (POR=2.39, 95% CI=1.43-3.99 and POR=1.93, 95% CI=1.22-3.08 respectively, p trend=0.019) and to have AO (POR=1.81, 95% CI=1.18-2.78 and POR=1.73, 95% CI=1.18-2.54 respectively, p-trend=0.009). Associations were not significant in females.TSTMV was positively associated with overweight and AO in adult Colombian males even after adjusting for PA. These findings highlight the potential deleterious health effects of sedentary behaviors such as prolonged traveling time, independently of having met PA recommendations.