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Self-reported illness among Boston-area international travelers: A prospective study.
Travel Med Infect Dis. 2016 Nov - Dec; 14(6):604-613.TM

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The Boston Area Travel Medicine Network surveyed travelers on travel-related health problems.

METHODS

Travelers were recruited 2009-2011 during pre-travel consultation at three clinics. The investigation included pre-travel data, weekly during-travel diaries, and a post-travel questionnaire. We analyzed demographics, trip characteristics, health problems experienced, and assessed the relationship between influenza vaccination, influenza prevention advice, and respiratory symptoms.

RESULTS

Of 987 enrolled travelers, 628 (64%) completed all surveys, of which 400 (64%) reported health problems during and/or after travel; median trip duration was 12 days. Diarrhea affected the most people during travel (172) while runny/stuffy nose affected the most people after travel (95). Of those with health problems during travel, 25% stopped or altered plans; 1% were hospitalized. After travel, 21% stopped planned activities, 23% sought physician or other health advice; one traveler was hospitalized. Travelers who received influenza vaccination and influenza prevention advice had lower rates of respiratory symptoms than those that received influenza prevention advice alone (18% vs 28%, P = 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS

A large proportion of Boston-area travelers reported health problems despite pre-travel consultation, resulting in inconveniences. The combination of influenza prevention advice and influenza immunization was associated with fewer respiratory symptoms than those who received influenza prevention advice alone.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Travel Medicine Center, Mount Auburn Hospital, Cambridge, MA, USA; Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: lchen@hms.harvard.edu.Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, Department of Research and Sponsored Programs, Minneapolis, MN, USA.Travel and Tropical Medicine Clinic, Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Burlington, MA, USA.Maxwell Finland Laboratory for Infectious Diseases, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Department of Global Health, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA; Section of Infectious Diseases, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: dhamer@bu.edu.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

27687076

Citation

Chen, Lin H., et al. "Self-reported Illness Among Boston-area International Travelers: a Prospective Study." Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, vol. 14, no. 6, 2016, pp. 604-613.
Chen LH, Han PV, Wilson ME, et al. Self-reported illness among Boston-area international travelers: A prospective study. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2016;14(6):604-613.
Chen, L. H., Han, P. V., Wilson, M. E., Stoney, R. J., Jentes, E. S., Benoit, C., Ooi, W. W., Barnett, E. D., & Hamer, D. H. (2016). Self-reported illness among Boston-area international travelers: A prospective study. Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease, 14(6), 604-613. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tmaid.2016.09.009
Chen LH, et al. Self-reported Illness Among Boston-area International Travelers: a Prospective Study. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2016 Nov - Dec;14(6):604-613. PubMed PMID: 27687076.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Self-reported illness among Boston-area international travelers: A prospective study. AU - Chen,Lin H, AU - Han,Pauline V, AU - Wilson,Mary E, AU - Stoney,Rhett J, AU - Jentes,Emily S, AU - Benoit,Christine, AU - Ooi,Winnie W, AU - Barnett,Elizabeth D, AU - Hamer,Davidson H, Y1 - 2016/10/02/ PY - 2016/08/16/received PY - 2016/09/14/revised PY - 2016/09/16/accepted PY - 2016/10/1/pubmed PY - 2017/5/4/medline PY - 2016/10/1/entrez KW - Influenza KW - Knowledge-attitudes-practices KW - Survey KW - Travel KW - Travel-associated health problems SP - 604 EP - 613 JF - Travel medicine and infectious disease JO - Travel Med Infect Dis VL - 14 IS - 6 N2 - BACKGROUND: The Boston Area Travel Medicine Network surveyed travelers on travel-related health problems. METHODS: Travelers were recruited 2009-2011 during pre-travel consultation at three clinics. The investigation included pre-travel data, weekly during-travel diaries, and a post-travel questionnaire. We analyzed demographics, trip characteristics, health problems experienced, and assessed the relationship between influenza vaccination, influenza prevention advice, and respiratory symptoms. RESULTS: Of 987 enrolled travelers, 628 (64%) completed all surveys, of which 400 (64%) reported health problems during and/or after travel; median trip duration was 12 days. Diarrhea affected the most people during travel (172) while runny/stuffy nose affected the most people after travel (95). Of those with health problems during travel, 25% stopped or altered plans; 1% were hospitalized. After travel, 21% stopped planned activities, 23% sought physician or other health advice; one traveler was hospitalized. Travelers who received influenza vaccination and influenza prevention advice had lower rates of respiratory symptoms than those that received influenza prevention advice alone (18% vs 28%, P = 0.03). CONCLUSIONS: A large proportion of Boston-area travelers reported health problems despite pre-travel consultation, resulting in inconveniences. The combination of influenza prevention advice and influenza immunization was associated with fewer respiratory symptoms than those who received influenza prevention advice alone. SN - 1873-0442 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/27687076/full_citation L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S1477-8939(16)30127-2 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -