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Publications (3)17.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The number of families traveling with their children to their country of origin and/or to tropical destinations has increased in Switzerland and includes a changing profile and multinational range of patients. Defining the profile of reported travel-associated illnesses will help to improve the prevention and treatment of such illnesses in children. This study includes children aged up to 16 years who sought medical advice for a presumed travel-related illness at the emergency room of the University of Zürich Children's Hospital during the period July 2007 to December 2008. We analyzed data on 328 children (58.8% male, mean age: 4.62 y) who presented with travel-associated illness. Our analysis included 155 traditional (mainly tourist) travelers, 162 children who were visiting friends and relatives (VFR), and 11 immigrants. Some 11% were hospitalized. No deaths occurred. The main conditions recorded were diarrheal illness (39%), respiratory (28.7%) and febrile/systemic illness (13.4%). With increasing age, the proportion of children with diarrheal disease increased, while the proportion with respiratory illness declined. There were significant associations between geographic area of exposure and the profile of travel-related disease (p < 0.001). Among 36 children with more serious diseases requiring hospitalization, 12 (3.7% overall) presented with potentially serious diseases: malaria (n = 2), Salmonella typhi (n = 3), Salmonella paratyphi (n = 2), meningococcal meningitis (n = 1), tuberculosis (n = 2), visceral leishmania (n = 1), and hepatitis A (n = 1). Eleven of the 12 children presenting with these potentially serious illnesses were VFR or immigrant children. The main diagnoses for ill-returned Zürich children who presented for emergency care were diarrhea, respiratory, and febrile/systemic illness. A broad spectrum of morbidity was seen including meningococcal meningitis, malaria, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, leishmania, and hepatitis A. Diagnoses varied between geographic regions visited, and VFR child travelers constituted a large proportion of sick-returned children presenting for emergency care.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 05/2012; 19(3):158-62. · 1.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: No systematic studies exist on sex and gender differences across a broad range of travel-associated diseases. Travel and tropical medicine GeoSentinel clinics worldwide contributed prospective, standardized data on 58,908 patients with travel-associated illness to a central database from 1 March 1997 through 31 October 2007. We evaluated sex and gender differences in health outcomes and in demographic characteristics. Statistical significance for crude analysis of dichotomous variables was determined using chi2 tests with calculation of odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The main outcome measure was proportionate morbidity of specific diagnoses in men and women. The analyses were adjusted for age, travel duration, pretravel encounter, reason for travel, and geographical region visited. We found statistically significant (P < .001) differences in morbidity by sex. Women are proportionately more likely than men to present with acute diarrhea (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.09-1.38), chronic diarrhea (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.19-1.37), irritable bowel syndrome (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.24-1.57), upper respiratory tract infection (OR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.14-1.33); urinary tract infection (OR, 4.01; 95% CI, 3.34-4.71), psychological stressors (OR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.14-1.48), oral and dental conditions, or adverse reactions to medication. Women are proportionately less likely to have febrile illnesses (OR, 0.15; 95% CI, 0.10-0.21); vector-borne diseases, such as malaria (OR, 0.46; 95% CI, 0.41-0.51), leishmaniasis, or rickettsioses (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.43-0.74); sexually transmitted infections (OR, 0.68; 95% CI 0.58-0.81); viral hepatitis (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.21-0.54); or noninfectious problems, including cardiovascular disease, acute mountain sickness, and frostbite. Women are statistically significantly more likely to obtain pretravel advice (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.23-1.32), and ill female travelers are less likely than ill male travelers to be hospitalized (OR, 0.45; 95% CI, 0.42-0.49). Men and women present with different profiles of travel-related morbidity. Preventive travel medicine and future travel medicine research need to address gender-specific intervention strategies and differential susceptibility to disease.
    Clinical Infectious Diseases 02/2010; 50(6):826-32. · 9.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We evaluated the epidemiologic factors of patients seeking treatment for travel-associated illness from January 2004 through May 2005 at the University Hospital of Zurich. When comparing persons whose purpose of travel was visiting friends and relatives (VFR travelers; n = 121) with tourists and other travelers (n = 217), VFR travelers showed a distinct infectious disease and risk spectrum. VFR travelers were more likely to receive a diagnosis of malaria (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 2.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-7.3) or viral hepatitis (OR = 3.1, 95% CI 1.1-9) compared with other travelers but were less likely to seek pretravel advice (20% vs. 67%, p = 0.0001). However, proportionate rates of acute diarrhea were lower in VFR (173 vs. 364 per 1,000 ill returnees). Travel to sub-Saharan Africa contributed most to malaria in VFR travelers. In countries with large migrant populations, improved public health strategies are needed to reach VFR travelers.
    Emerging infectious diseases 03/2007; 13(2):217-22. · 5.99 Impact Factor