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Acute and potentially life-threatening tropical diseases in western travelers - a geosentinel multicenter study, 1996-2011


Jensenius, Mogens; Han, Pauline V; Schlagenhauf, Patricia; Schwartz, Eli; Parola, Philippe; Castelli, Francesco; von Sonnenburg, Frank; Loutan, Louis; Leder, Karin; Freedman, David O (2013). Acute and potentially life-threatening tropical diseases in western travelers - a geosentinel multicenter study, 1996-2011. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 88(2):397-404.

Abstract

We performed a descriptive analysis of acute and potentially life-threatening tropical diseases among 82,825 ill western travelers reported to GeoSentinel from June of 1996 to August of 2011. We identified 3,655 patients (4.4%) with a total of 3,666 diagnoses representing 13 diseases, including falciparum malaria (76.9%), enteric fever (18.1%), and leptospirosis (2.4%). Ninety-one percent of the patients had fever; the median time from travel to presentation was 16 days. Thirteen (0.4%) patients died. Ten patients had falciparum malaria, 2 patients had melioidosis, and 1 patient had severe dengue. Falciparum malaria was mainly acquired in West Africa, and enteric fever was largely contracted on the Indian subcontinent; leptospirosis, scrub typhus, and murine typhus were principally acquired in Southeat Asia. Western physicians seeing febrile and recently returned travelers from the tropics need to consider a wide profile of potentially life-threatening tropical illnesses, with a specific focus on the most likely diseases described in our large case series.

Abstract

We performed a descriptive analysis of acute and potentially life-threatening tropical diseases among 82,825 ill western travelers reported to GeoSentinel from June of 1996 to August of 2011. We identified 3,655 patients (4.4%) with a total of 3,666 diagnoses representing 13 diseases, including falciparum malaria (76.9%), enteric fever (18.1%), and leptospirosis (2.4%). Ninety-one percent of the patients had fever; the median time from travel to presentation was 16 days. Thirteen (0.4%) patients died. Ten patients had falciparum malaria, 2 patients had melioidosis, and 1 patient had severe dengue. Falciparum malaria was mainly acquired in West Africa, and enteric fever was largely contracted on the Indian subcontinent; leptospirosis, scrub typhus, and murine typhus were principally acquired in Southeat Asia. Western physicians seeing febrile and recently returned travelers from the tropics need to consider a wide profile of potentially life-threatening tropical illnesses, with a specific focus on the most likely diseases described in our large case series.

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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:2013
Deposited On:24 Jan 2013 09:14
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:24
Publisher:American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
ISSN:0002-9637
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.12-0551
PubMed ID:23324216

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