Travel medicine

Leggat, Peter (2010) Travel medicine. In: Phelps, Kerryn, and Hassed, Craig, (eds.) General Practice: The Integrative Approach. Elsevier-Churchill Livingstone, Sydney, Australia, pp. 648-657.

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There has been an increasing trend for people to travel internationally. Ease of air transportation has ensured that nearly 1 billion people travel internationally each year to every part of the globe. These travellers are potentially exposed to infectious diseases for which they have no immunity, as well as other serious threats to wellbeing, such as accidents and exacerbation of preexisting medical and dental conditions. Conservatively, it is estimated that 30-50% of travellers become ill or are injured while travelling. Relative estimated monthly incidence rates of various health problems have been compiled elsewhere. The risk of severe injury is thought to be greater for people when travelling abroad.

In terms of morbidity, infectious diseases such as respiratory tract infection and traveller's diarrhoea, and injuries are important concerns for travellers. The main health complaints of returned travellers vary considerably, depending on the country visited and the duration of the visit. Some studies have reported, based on travel insurance claims, that respiratory, musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, ear, nose and throat, and dental conditions were the most common presenting problems, whereas others have found that infectious disease (43.5%), accidents involving the extremities ( 15.3%), psychiatric conditions (8.2%), pulmonary disorders (4.7%) and accidents involving the head (4.7%) were the most common. Fortunately, few travellers die abroad, and those who do tend to die of pre-existing conditions, such as myocardial infarction in travellers with known ischaemic heart disease. However, accidents arc also a major cause of travel related mortality. This chapter highlights some of the current issues in travel medicine, but excludes specific discussion concerning migrant health.

Item ID: 16638
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 978-0-7295-3804-6
Keywords: travel medicine, general practice, Australia, medical, prevention
Date Deposited: 06 May 2011 05:15
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1199 Other Medical and Health Sciences > 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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