Publication: Travel associated infectious disease presenting in Europe

Travelers bring home many souvenirs from their foreign sojourns. In a Lancet Infectious Diseases publication, Patricia Schlagenhauf and colleagues from EuroTravNet analysed travel-associated infections in 32,136 travelers who presented ill post-travel. The authors also addressed the question “does the pre-travel health consultation actually protect travelers’ health?”. The top diagnoses, in ill returning travelers, were malaria and acute diarrhoea. Trend analyses showed increases in mosquito-borne diseases including increased Plasmodium falciparum malaria and dengue fever and chikungunya fever. Migration within Europe is associated with serious infections such as hepatitis C, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and HIV/AIDS. The analysis of the impact of the pre-travel consultation supports the importance and effectiveness of pre-travel advice on malaria prevention, but casts doubt on the effectiveness of current strategies to prevent travel-related diarrhoea.

Walter Schmid