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Publications (6)19.85 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Background Limited data exist on infectious diseases imported to various locations in Europe, particularly after travel within the continent.Methods To investigate travel-related disease relevant to Europe that is potentially preventable through pre-travel intervention, we analyzed the EuroTravNet database of 5,965 ill travelers reported by 16 centers in “Western” Europe in 2011.ResultsThere were 54 cases of vaccine-preventable disease, mostly hepatitis A (n = 16), typhoid fever (n = 11), and measles (n = 8); 6 cases (including 3 measles cases) were associated with travel within “Western” Europe. Malaria was the most commonly diagnosed infection (n = 482, 8.1% of all travel-related morbidity). Among patients with malaria, the military most commonly received pre-travel advice (95%), followed by travelers for missionary, volunteer, research, or aid work (81%) but travelers visiting friends and relatives (VFRs) were least likely to receive pre-travel advice (21%). The vast majority (96%) of malaria patients were resident in “Western” Europe, but over half (56%) were born elsewhere. Other significant causes of morbidity, which could be reduced through advice and behavioral change, include Giardia (n = 221, 3.7%), dengue (n = 146, 2.4%), and schistosomiasis (n = 131, 2.2%). Of 206 (3.5%) travelers with exposure in “Western” Europe, 75% were tourists; the highest burden of disease was acute gastrointestinal infection (35% cases). Travel from “Eastern” Europe (n = 132, 2.2%) was largely associated with migration-related travel (53%); among chronic infectious diseases, tuberculosis was frequently diagnosed (n = 20). Travelers VFRs contributed the largest group of malaria patients (46%), but also had the lowest documented rate of pre-travel health advice in this subset (20%). Overall, 44% of nonimmigrant ill travelers did not receive pre-travel advice.Conclusion There is a burden of infectious diseases in travelers attending European health centers that is potentially preventable through comprehensive pre-travel advice, chemoprophylaxis, and vaccination. Targeted interventions for high-risk groups such as travelers VFRs and migration-associated travelers are of particular importance.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 04/2014; · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate trends in travel-associated morbidity with particular emphasis on emerging infections with the potential for introduction into Europe, diagnoses of 7,408 returning travellers presenting to 16 EuroTravNet sites in 2010 were compared with 2008 and 2009. A significant increase in reported Plasmodium falciparum malaria (n=361 (6% of all travel-related morbidity) vs. n=254 (4%) and 260 (5%); p<0.001), P. vivax malaria (n=51 (1%) vs. n=31 (0.5%) and 38 (1%); p=0.027) and dengue fever (n=299 (5%) vs. n=127 (2%) and 127 (2%); p<0.001) was observed. Giardia lamblia was identified in 16% of patients with acute diarrhoea, with no significant annual variation. The proportion of acute diarrhoea due to Campylobacter increased from 7% in 2008 to 12% in 2010 (p=0.001). We recorded 121 patients with pulmonary tuberculosis in 2010, a threefold increase in the proportionate morbidity from 2008 to 2010. In 2010, 60 (0.8%) cases of chronic Chagas disease, 151 (2%) cases of schistosomiasis and 112 (2%) cases of cutaneous larva migrans were reported. Illness patterns in sentinel travellers, captured by EuroTravnet, continue to highlight the potential role of travellers in the emergence of infectious diseases of public health concern in Europe and the relevance of offering medical travel advice and enforcing specific and adequate prophylaxis.
    Euro surveillance: bulletin europeen sur les maladies transmissibles = European communicable disease bulletin 01/2012; 17(26). · 5.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To describe patient characteristics and disease spectrum among foreign visitors to Haiti before and after the 2010 earthquake, we used GeoSentinel Global Surveillance Network data and compared 1 year post-earthquake versus 3 years pre-earthquake. Post-earthquake travelers were younger, predominantly from the United States, more frequently international assistance workers, and more often medically counseled before their trip than pre-earthquake travelers. Work-related stress and upper respiratory tract infections were more frequent post-earthquake; acute diarrhea, dengue, and Plasmodium falciparum malaria were important contributors of morbidity both pre- and post-earthquake. These data highlight the importance of providing destination- and disaster-specific pre-travel counseling and post-travel evaluation and medical management to persons traveling to or returning from a disaster location, and evaluations should include attention to the psychological wellbeing of these travelers. For travel to Haiti, focus should be on mosquito-borne illnesses (dengue and P. falciparum malaria) and travelers' diarrhea.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 01/2012; 86(1):23-8. · 2.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate travel-associated morbidity in European travellers in 2009 in comparison with 2008, with a particular emphasis on emerging infectious diseases with the potential for introduction into Europe. Diagnoses with demographic, clinical and travel-related predictors of disease from ill returning travelers presenting to 12 core EuroTravNet sites from January to December 2009 were analysed. A total of 6392 patients were seen at EuroTravNet core sites in 2009, as compared with 6957 in 2008. As compared with 2008, there was a marked increase in the number of travellers exposed in North America and western Europe. Respiratory illnesses, in particular pandemic A(H1N1) influenza, influenza-like syndromes, and tuberculosis, were also observed more frequently. A significant increase in reported dengue cases in 2009 as compared with 2008 was observed (n = 172, 2.7% vs. n = 131, 1.90%) (p 0.002). The numbers of malaria and chikungunya cases were also increasing, although not significantly. Two deaths were recorded: visceral leishmaniasis and sepsis in a Sudanese migrant, and Acinetobacter sp. pneumonia in a patient who had visited Spain. This is the most comprehensive study of travel-related illness in Europe in 2009 as compared with 2008. A significant increase in travel-related respiratory and vector-borne infections was observed, highlighting the potential risk for introduction of these diseases into Europe, where competent vectors are present. The number of traveller deaths is probably underestimated. The possible role of the travellers in the emergence of infectious diseases of public health concern is highlighted.
    Clinical Microbiology and Infection 06/2011; 18(5):468-74. · 4.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Europeans represent the majority of international travellers and clinicians encountering returned patients have an essential role in recognizing, and communicating travel-associated public health risks. To investigate the morbidity of travel associated infectious diseases in European travellers, we analysed diagnoses with demographic, clinical and travel-related predictors of disease, in 6957 ill returned travellers who presented in 2008 to EuroTravNet centres with a presumed travel associated condition. Gastro-intestinal (GI) diseases accounted for 33% of illnesses, followed by febrile systemic illnesses (20%), dermatological conditions (12%) and respiratory illnesses (8%). There were 3 deaths recorded; a sepsis caused by Escherichia coli pyelonephritis, a dengue shock syndrome and a Plasmodium falciparum malaria.GI conditions included bacterial acute diarrhea (6.9%), as well as giardiasis and amebasis (2.3%). Among febrile systemic illnesses with identified pathogens, malaria (5.4%) accounted for most cases followed by dengue (1.9%) and others including chikungunya, rickettsial diseases, leptospirosis, brucellosis, Epstein Barr virus infections, tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) and viral hepatitis. Dermatological conditions were dominated by bacterial infections, arthropod bites, cutaneous larva migrans and animal bites requiring rabies post-exposure prophylaxis and also leishmaniasis, myasis, tungiasis and one case of leprosy. Respiratory illness included 112 cases of tuberculosis including cases of multi-drug resistant or extensively drug resistant tuberculosis, 104 cases of influenza like illness, and 5 cases of Legionnaires disease. Sexually transmitted infections (STI) accounted for 0.6% of total diagnoses and included HIV infection and syphilis. A total of 165 cases of potentially vaccine preventable diseases were reported. Purpose of travel and destination specific risk factors was identified for several diagnoses such as Chagas disease in immigrant travellers from South America and P. falciparum malaria in immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Travel within Europe was also associated with health risks with distinctive profiles for Eastern and Western Europe. In 2008, a broad spectrum of travel associated diseases were diagnosed at EuroTravNet core sites. Diagnoses varied according to regions visited by ill travellers. The spectrum of travel associated morbidity also shows that there is a need to dispel the misconception that travel, close to home, in Europe, is without significant health risk.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 11/2010; 10:330. · 3.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Using the GeoSentinel database, an analysis of ill patients returning from throughout sub-Saharan Africa over a 13-year period was performed. Systemic febrile illness, dermatologic, and acute diarrheal illness were the most common syndromic groupings, whereas spotted fever group rickettsiosis was the most common individual diagnosis for travelers to South Africa. In contrast to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, only six cases of malaria were documented in South Africa travelers. Vaccine-preventable diseases, typhoid, hepatitis A, and potential rabies exposures were uncommon in South Africa travelers. Pre-travel advice for the travelers to the 2010 World Cup should be individualized according to these findings.
    The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene 06/2010; 82(6):991-5. · 2.53 Impact Factor