Monday, February 10, 2014

Stay healthy when traveling abroad

Travel-Related Disease Conditions – 2014

Background: Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC) investigated multiple cases of travel-related illness in 2013. Cases of chikungunya, dengue fever, and malaria have been reported to Maine CDC in persons who have recently traveled or have moved to Maine from another country. Maine residents frequently travel outside of the United States during school vacation weeks in February and April, often to warmer climates, putting them at risk for vector- and food-borne diseases.

Recommendations: Many travel-related illnesses can be prevented by vaccinations, good hand hygiene, and knowledge of high-risk conditions in other countries. Maine CDC recommends that clinicians counsel patients who plan to travel, on precautions they can take to prevent travel-related illness. The federal CDC recommends vaccines based on travel destination, available at www.cdc.gov/travel. Clinicians are reminded to obtain recent travel history, especially travel outside of the US, for symptomatic patients.


Table 1: Regions for Increased Attention, Select Diseases
Caribbean
Latin America
Africa
Indian Sub-Cont.
SE Asia
W Pacific
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease. In December 2013, local transmission was found for the first time in the Caribbean/ Americas. The best prevention is to avoid being bitten by infected mosquitoes, including wearing repellant while indoors or out.


Dengue Fever is a mosquito-borne viral illness occurring in many tropical and subtropical countries world-wide.  The best prevention for dengue is to avoid being bitten by infected mosquitoes, including wearing repellant while indoors or out.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasitic disease, preventable by taking medication before and during travel (chemoprophylaxis). It occurs in more than 100 tropical and subtropical countries.
*Haiti

Hepatitis A is one of the most common vaccine-preventable infections acquired during travel. Transmitted through the fecal-oral route by ingesting contaminated food or water, and close personal contact, it is best prevented by vaccination and good hand hygiene.



Shigellosis is a bacterial infection of the intestine transmitted through the fecal-oral route by ingesting contaminated food or water, and close personal contact. Like other enteric diseases, including salmonella and campylobacter, good hand hygiene is the best prevention.




All suspected cases of travel-related illnesses that are notifiable conditions should be reported to the Maine CDC at 1-800-821-5821. If patients present with unusual symptoms, providers are encouraged to call Maine CDC for a consultation. A list of notifiable conditions is available at www.maine.gov/idepi.  


For More Information: Please contact the Maine CDC by calling the disease reporting and consultation line at 1-800-821-5821, e-mailing disease.reporting@maine.gov, or visiting the Maine CDC website at www.maine.gov/idepi. A list of travel medicine clinics in Maine can be found at www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/immunization/international-travel.shtml.

No comments: