Items in AFP with MESH term: Travel

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Prevention of Malaria in Travelers - Article

ABSTRACT: Malaria is a major international public health problem, responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality around the world each year. As travel to tropical locations increases, U.S. physicians are being asked more frequently to provide recommendations for malaria prevention. An organized approach to reducing the risk of acquiring this disease is necessary. Physicians must review the itineraries of their patients in detail, paying particularly close attention to travel within malaria-endemic areas and drug-resistant zones. Appropriate chemoprophylaxis must be chosen to reduce the risk of acquiring malaria. It also is important to provide advice on the use of protective measures that reduce the risk of mosquito bites. Finally, travelers should be instructed to seek medical attention immediately if symptoms of the disease develop during or after the trip.


Fever in the Returned Traveler - Article

ABSTRACT: With the rising popularity of international travel to exotic locations, family physicians are encountering more febrile patients who recently have visited tropical countries. In the majority of cases, the fever is caused by a common illness such as tracheobronchitis, pneumonia, or urinary tract infection. However, fever in returned travelers always should raise suspicion for a severe or potentially life-threatening tropical infection. In addition to the usual medical history, physicians should obtain a careful travel history, a description of accommodations, information about pretravel immunizations or chemoprophylaxis during travel, a sexual history, and a list of exposures and risk factors. The extent and type of lymphadenopathy are important diagnostic clues. Altered mental status with fever is an alarm symptom and requires urgent evaluation and treatment. Malaria must be considered in patients who traveled even briefly within an endemic area. Enteric fever is treated with fluoroquinolones, dengue fever with supportive measures only, leptospirosis with penicillin or doxycycline, and rickettsial infections with doxycycline.


Travel Immunizations - Article

ABSTRACT: Advising travelers on vaccine-preventable illnesses is increasingly becoming the responsibility of primary care physicians. The approach to vaccine recommendations should be based on a thorough assessment of the risks for travel-related diseases, the time available before trip departure, and current knowledge of the epidemiology of vaccine-preventable diseases. Routine childhood vaccinations should be reviewed in all travelers and updated as necessary. Yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry by countries that lie within a yellow fever zone or for travelers coming from an endemic area to prevent introduction of the disease. Immunization against hepatitis B virus should be considered in travelers who expect to have close contact with local populations that have high rates of hepatitis B transmission. Japanese encephalitis vaccine should be offered to travelers who plan prolonged trips to rural areas in southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent during the transmission season. Typhoid fever immunization is recommended for travelers who may be exposed to potentially contaminated food and drink. Preexposure rabies vaccination should be considered in travelers who plan a prolonged duration of stay in a remote area or who engage in activities that might involve working near animals or that could attract animals. Physicians should be aware of the adverse events and contraindications associated with each travel vaccine.


Traveler's Diarrhea - Article

ABSTRACT: Acute diarrhea affects millions of persons who travel to developing countries each year. Food and water contaminated with fecal matter are the main sources of infection. Bacteria such as enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, enteroaggregative E. coli, Campylobacter, Salmonella, and Shigella are common causes of traveler's diarrhea. Parasites and viruses are less common etiologies. Travel destination is the most significant risk factor for traveler's diarrhea. The efficacy of pretravel counseling and dietary precautions in reducing the incidence of diarrhea is unproven. Empiric treatment of traveler's diarrhea with antibiotics and loperamide is effective and often limits symptoms to one day. Rifaximin, a recently approved antibiotic, can be used for the treatment of traveler's diarrhea in regions where noninvasive E. coli is the predominant pathogen. In areas where invasive organisms such as Campylobacter and Shigella are common, fluoroquinolones remain the drug of choice. Azithromycin is recommended in areas with quinolone-resistant Campylobacter and for the treatment of children and pregnant women.


Travel Medicine: Helping Patients Prepare for Trips Abroad - Article

ABSTRACT: One third of persons who travel abroad experience a travel-related illness, usually diarrhea or an upper respiratory infection. The risk of travelers' diarrhea can be reduced by eating only freshly prepared, hot foods. Combination therapy with a single dose of ofloxacin plus loperamide usually provides relief from travelers' diarrhea within 24 hours. Using a diethyltoluamide (deet)-containing insect repellent and wearing permethrin-coated clothing can reduce the risk of malaria, yellow fever and other diseases contracted from insects. Routine immunizations such as tetanus, measles, mumps and rubella, and influenza should be updated if necessary before the patient embarks on the trip. Hepatitis A immunization should be administered to persons traveling to places other than Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and western European countries. Typhoid vaccination should be considered for travelers going to developing countries. Yellow fever immunization is indicated for travelers going to endemic areas of South America and Africa. Malaria prophylaxis with chloroquine is indicated for travelers going to Mexico and Central America. Mefloquine is recommended for those traveling to areas where malaria is resistant to prophylactic treatment with chloroquine. Medical advice for patients planning trips abroad must be individualized and based on the most current expert recommendations.


Malaria Prevention in Travelers - Article

ABSTRACT: The prevention of malaria in travelers is becoming a more challenging clinical and public health problem because of the global development of drug-resistant Plasmodium strains of malaria and the increasing popularity of travel to exotic locales. Travelers can reduce their risk of acquiring malaria by using bed netting, wearing proper clothing and applying an insect repellent that contains N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. Chloroquine, once the standard agent for weekly malaria prophylaxis, is no longer reliably effective outside the Middle East and Central America because of the emergence of resistant Plasmodium falciparum strains. Mefloquine is now the most effective and most recommended antimalarial agent on the U.S. market; however, the side effects of this agent have begun to limit its acceptance. Doxycycline is effective for malaria prophylaxis in travelers who are unable to take mefloquine. Daily proguanil taken in conjunction with weekly chloroquine is an option for pregnant patients traveling to sub-Saharan Africa. Terminal prophylaxis with two weeks of primaquine phosphate can eliminate an asymptomatic carrier state and the later development of malaria in newly returned long-term travelers with probable exposure to Plasmodium vivax or Plasmodium ovale. Travelers who elect not to take an antimalarial agent or who are at high risk for malaria and are more than 24 hours from medical care can use self-treatment regimens such as those featuring pyrimethamine-sulfadoxine. Conventional agents may be contraindicated in certain travelers, especially pregnant women and small children, and several prophylactic agents are not available in the United States. Azithromycin and a number of malaria vaccines are currently under investigation.


Case Studies in International Travelers - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians should be alert for unusual diseases in patients who are returning from foreign travel. Malaria is a potentially fatal disease that can be acquired by travelers to certain areas of the world, primarily developing nations. Transmitted through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito, malaria usually presents with fever and a vague systemic illness. The disease is diagnosed by demonstration of Plasmodium organisms on a specially prepared blood film. Travelers can also acquire amebic infections, which may cause dysentery or, in some instances, liver abscess. Amebiasis is diagnosed by finding Entamoeba histolytica cysts or trophozoites in the stool. Invasive amebic infections are generally treated with metronidazole followed by iodoquinol or paromomycin. Cutaneous larva migrans is acquired by skin contact with hookworm larvae in the soil. The infection is characterized by the development of itchy papules followed by serpiginous or linear streaks. Cutaneous larva migrans is treated with invermectin or albendazole. Case studies are presented.


Prevention and Treatment of Traveler's Diarrhea - Article

ABSTRACT: Common pathogens in traveler's diarrhea include enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Shigella, Salmonella, Yersinia and many other species. Viruses and protozoa are the cause in many cases. Fortunately, traveler's diarrhea can usually be avoided by carefully selecting foods and beverages. Although drug prophylaxis is now discouraged, treatment with loperamide (in the absence of dysentery) and a fluoroquinolone, such as ciprofloxacin (500 mg twice daily for one to three days), is usually safe and effective in adults with traveler's diarrhea. Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole and doxycycline are alternatives, but resistance increasingly limits their usefulness. Antibiotic treatment is best reserved for cases that fail to quickly respond to loperamide. Antibiotic resistance is now widespread. Nonabsorbable antibiotics, immunoprophylaxis with vaccines and biotherapeutic microbes that inhibit pathogen infection may eventually supplant antibiotic treatment. In the meantime, azithromycin and new fluoroquinolones show promise as possible replacements for the older agents. Ultimately, the best solution is improvements in sanitary engineering and the development of safe water supplies.


Medical Advice for Commercial Air Travelers - Article

ABSTRACT: Family physicians are often asked to advise patients who are preparing to travel. The Air Carrier Access Act of 1986 has enabled more passengers with medical disabilities to choose air travel. All domestic U.S. airlines are required to carry basic (but often limited) medical equipment, although several physiologic stresses associated with flight may predispose travelers with underlying medical conditions to require emergency care. Recommendations for passengers with respiratory, cardiac or postsurgical conditions must be individualized and should be based on objective testing measures. Specific advice for patients with diabetes, postsurgical or otolaryngologic conditions may make air travel less hazardous for these persons. Air travel should be delayed after scuba diving to minimize the chance of developing decompression sickness. Although no quick cure for jet lag exists, several simple suggestions may make travel across time zones more comfortable.


The Pretravel Consultation - Article

ABSTRACT: The increase in travel and travel medicine knowledge over the past 30 years makes pretravel counseling an essential part of comprehensive family medicine. Effective counseling begins with assessment of individual and itinerary-based risks, using a growing body of evidence-based decision-support tools and resources. Counseling recommendations should be tailored to the patient's risk tolerance and experience. An essential component of the pretravel consultation includes reviewing routine and destination-specific immunizations. In addition to implementing behavioral adaptations, travelers can guard against vectorborne disease by using N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET, 30%), a safe and effective insect repellent. Patients should also receive malarial chemoprophylaxis when traveling to areas of risk. Proper precautions can reduce the risk of food- and waterborne disease. Travelers should take appropriate precautions when traveling to high altitudes. Strategies for minimizing the risk of deep venous thrombosis during air travel include keeping mobile and wearing compression stockings. Accident avoidance and coping strategies for health problems that occur while abroad are also important components of the pretravel consultation.


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