Influenza: changing approaches to prevention and treatment in travelers.

Divsion of Geographic Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA.
Journal of Travel Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.53). 01/2005; 12(1):36-44. DOI: 10.2310/7060.2005.00007
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: The 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus subtype (H1N1) pandemic had a large impact in the United States of America (USA), causing an estimated 192,000 to 398,000 hospitalizations and 8,720 to 18,050 deaths between April 2009 and mid-March 2010. Recent research on the 2009 H1N1 pandemic has largely focused on individual, non-spatial demographic characterizations (e.g. age and race/ethnicity) associated with H1N1 hospitalizations. Broader ecological factors such as transportation use, land use and other socioeconomic factors are important aspects of influenza studies that have not been empirically examined. This research explores and identifies ecological factors associated with 2009 H1N1 pandemic hospitalization rates. We conducted a spatial regression analysis of county level hospitalization rates from 3 April to 15 September, 2009 obtained via the California Department of Public Health. Hospitalization rates were found to be spatially dependent. Public transportation usage rates and agricultural land use proportions were significant environmental factors positively related to hospitalization rates. Consistent with public health official's assumptions and existing evidence, county percentages of persons less than 18 years of age were positively associated with hospitalization. These findings help to clarify the limited consensus and dubious evidence on the role of broader ecological factors associated with pandemic influenza. A better understanding of the ecological risk factors associated with hospitalizations should also benefit public health officials with respect to their work aiming at improving emergency supply allocation and non-pharmaceutical intervention strategies in the context of an influenza pandemic.
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    ABSTRACT: Selected data collected for travelers to China from 1998 through November 2007 by the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network were used to provide an evidence base for prioritizing recommendations for Olympic and other future travelers to China. Respiratory illness and injuries were common among patients seen during their travel; acute diarrhea and dog bites were common among those seen after travel. Tropical and parasitic diseases were rare. Pre-travel consultation for China travelers should be individualized according to these findings.
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    ABSTRACT: Annually, millions of Muslims embark on a religious pilgrimage called the "Hajj" to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The mass migration during the Hajj is unparalleled in scale, and pilgrims face numerous health hazards. The extreme congestion of people and vehicles during this time amplifies health risks, such as those from infectious diseases, that vary each year. Since the Hajj is dictated by the lunar calendar, which is shorter than the Gregorian calendar, it presents public-health policy planners with a moving target, demanding constant preparedness. We review the communicable and non-communicable hazards that pilgrims face. With the rise in global travel, preventing disease transmission has become paramount to avoid the spread of infectious diseases, including SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), avian influenza, and haemorrhagic fever. We examine the response of clinicians, the Saudi Ministry of Health, and Hajj authorities to these unique problems, and list health recommendations for prospective pilgrims.
    The Lancet 04/2006; 367(9515):1008-15. DOI:10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68429-8 · 45.22 Impact Factor