Travel outside of the US causing increased health risks to Americans

Post travel studies show many unaware of diseases and symptoms: Results presented at American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Meeting

More than 2,000 physicians and scientists from around the world are convening at the 55th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting in Atlanta this week to discuss the latest advances in prevention and treatment of global infectious disease threats with one of the key topics discussed being the diseases travelers are bringing back to the United States upon returning from vacation or business trips either abroad and/or to tropical regions.

Presentations on this topic this week will include:

  • Trends in Travel-Associated Dengue Among U.S. Residents -- Researchers from the San Juan branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will discuss their findings of 1193 travelers from 49 states with suspected dengue infections. Persons infected by Dengue often don't see the symptoms of fever, headaches, muscle and joint pain for up to a week after being affected and have often returned from their travels. If not treated, the disease can cause severe bleeding and kidney and heart damage. This research addresses countries that have a higher risk of dengue for travelers, preventive methods for travelers and the U.S. states that have been most affected by this disease during the past decade.

  • Walking the Line: Emerging Infectious Diseases on the U.S./Mexico Border -- Scientists from the CDC and the University of Texas School of Public Health will address why the Texas/Mexico is becoming one of the fasted growing hot spots for the spread of infectious diseases with the border now having one of the highest incidences of tuberculosis in the U.S. They will also discuss how the U.S./Mexico border is seeing an increase in dengue fever cases, an infectious disease transmitted by mosquitoes.

  • Chikungunya virus in French Travelers Approximately 808 cases of this emerging disease -- which is similar to a West Nile virus as it is passed to the blood through a mosquito bite -- have been diagnosed in Europe by researchers from l'Hospital Nord de Marseille, France and the CDC among travelers in mainland France, Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland. Most recently, cases are being diagnosed in the U.S. which lends concern that more travelers returning to the U.S. from Europe, particularly France, may carry the virus and increase its spread further in the U.S.

To register for the meeting taking place Nov. 12-16th, or to arrange an interview with one of these researchers, please contact Ivette Morello.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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