Illness in returned travellers presenting at GeoSentinal sites in New Zealand

Shaw, Marc T.M., Leggat, Peter A., Weld, Leisa H., Williams, Megan L., and Cetron, Martin S. (2003) Illness in returned travellers presenting at GeoSentinal sites in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 27 (1). pp. 82-86.

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OBJECTIVE: to describe illnesses of returned travellers presenting at GeoSentinel sites in New Zealand.

METHODS: record data for all patients presenting for travel-related illnesses seen at two GeoSentinel sites, operating as commercial travel clinics, in Auckland and Hamilton, NZ, were extracted for the period November 1997 to December 2001.

RESULTS: 205 patients were identified with 262 diagnoses. Just over half were females (54.21%) and nearly half were in the 25-35 years age group (47.3%). About two-fifths of patients reported a pre-travel health consultation (41.0%). The commonest diseases diagnosed were diarrhoeal illnesses (23%), dermatological diagnoses (16%, excluding animal bites), animal bites (10%), and non-specific viral illnesses (8%), many of which manifest as respiratory infections. Tropical diseases, such as schistosomiasis (4%) malaria (2%) and dengue fever (0.5%), were not common.

CONCLUSIONS: information on travel-related illnesses, when reported through a global reporting system, can be useful for the travel health adviser in identifying issues of current concern. Although the frequency of tropical disease is low, it remains important to prevent these potentially fatal diseases.

IMPLICATIONS: GeoSentinel makes a global contribution to the surveillance of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases through a network of individual sites in various countries including New Zealand. This information can be used to help provide preventive advice for travellers as well as help in assessing illness in post-travel patients and potentially assist in preventing the secondary spread of some diseases acquired abroad following return.

Item ID: 5872
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1753-6405
Keywords: GeoSentinel; illness; New Zealand; surveillance; travellers
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2010 01:53
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111711 Health Information Systems (incl Surveillance) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920404 Disease Distribution and Transmission (incl. Surveillance and Response) @ 100%
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