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Expatriates ill after travel:results from the Geosentinel Surveillance Network


Lim, Poh-Lian; Han, Pauline; Chen, Lin H; Macdonald, Susan; Pandey, Prativa; Hale, Devon; Schlagenhauf, Patricia; Loutan, Louis; Wilder-Smith, Annelies; Davis, Xiaohong M; Freedman, David O (2012). Expatriates ill after travel:results from the Geosentinel Surveillance Network. BMC Infectious Diseases, 12:386.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Expatriates are a distinct population at unique risk for health problems related to their travel exposure. METHODS: We analyzed GeoSentinel data comparing ill returned expatriates with other travelers for demographics, travel characteristics, and proportionate morbidity (PM) for travel-related illness. RESULTS: Our study included 2,883 expatriates and 11,910 non-expatriates who visited GeoSentinel clinics ill after travel. Expatriates were more likely to be male, do volunteer work, be long-stay travelers (>6 months), and have sought pre-travel advice. Compared to non-expatriates, expatriates returning from Africa had higher proportionate morbidity (PM) for malaria, filariasis, schistosomiasis, and hepatitis E; expatriates from the Asia-Pacific region had higher PM for strongyloidiasis, depression, and anxiety; expatriates returning from Latin America had higher PM for mononucleosis and ingestion-related infections (giardiasis, brucellosis) . Expatriates returning from all three regions had higher PM for latent TB, amebiasis, and gastrointestinal infections (other than acute diarrhea) compared to non-expatriates. When the data were stratified by travel reason, business expatriates had higher PM for febrile systemic illness (malaria and dengue) and vaccine-preventable infections (hepatitis A), and volunteer expatriates had higher PM for parasitic infections. Expatriates overall had higher adjusted odds ratios for latent TB and lower odds ratios for acute diarrhea and dermatologic illness. CONCLUSIONS: Ill returned expatriates differ from other travelers in travel characteristics and proportionate morbidity for specific diseases, based on the region of exposure and travel reason. They are more likely to present with more serious illness.

BACKGROUND: Expatriates are a distinct population at unique risk for health problems related to their travel exposure. METHODS: We analyzed GeoSentinel data comparing ill returned expatriates with other travelers for demographics, travel characteristics, and proportionate morbidity (PM) for travel-related illness. RESULTS: Our study included 2,883 expatriates and 11,910 non-expatriates who visited GeoSentinel clinics ill after travel. Expatriates were more likely to be male, do volunteer work, be long-stay travelers (>6 months), and have sought pre-travel advice. Compared to non-expatriates, expatriates returning from Africa had higher proportionate morbidity (PM) for malaria, filariasis, schistosomiasis, and hepatitis E; expatriates from the Asia-Pacific region had higher PM for strongyloidiasis, depression, and anxiety; expatriates returning from Latin America had higher PM for mononucleosis and ingestion-related infections (giardiasis, brucellosis) . Expatriates returning from all three regions had higher PM for latent TB, amebiasis, and gastrointestinal infections (other than acute diarrhea) compared to non-expatriates. When the data were stratified by travel reason, business expatriates had higher PM for febrile systemic illness (malaria and dengue) and vaccine-preventable infections (hepatitis A), and volunteer expatriates had higher PM for parasitic infections. Expatriates overall had higher adjusted odds ratios for latent TB and lower odds ratios for acute diarrhea and dermatologic illness. CONCLUSIONS: Ill returned expatriates differ from other travelers in travel characteristics and proportionate morbidity for specific diseases, based on the region of exposure and travel reason. They are more likely to present with more serious illness.

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17 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:18 Jan 2013 07:28
Last Modified:17 Nov 2016 15:45
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1471-2334
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/1471-2334-12-386
PubMed ID:23273048
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-71265

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