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Malaria after international travel: a GeoSentinel analysis, 2003–2016

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Angelo, Kristina, Libman, Michael, Caumes, Eric, Davidson, Hamer, Kain, Kevin, Leder, Karin, Grobusch, Martin, Hagmann, Stefan, Kozarsky, Phyllis, Lalloo, David ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7680-2200, Lim, Poh-Lian, Patimeteeporn, Calvin, Gautret, Philippe, Odolini, Silvia, Chappuis, Francois and Esposito, Douglas (2017) 'Malaria after international travel: a GeoSentinel analysis, 2003–2016'. Malaria Journal, Vol 16, e293.

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Abstract

Background

More than 30,000 malaria cases are reported annually among international travellers. Despite improvements in malaria control, malaria continues to threaten travellers due to inaccurate perception of risk and sub-optimal pre-travel preparation.

Methods

Records with a confirmed malaria diagnosis after travel from January 2003 to July 2016 were obtained from GeoSentinel, a global surveillance network of travel and tropical medicine providers that monitors travel-related morbidity. Records were excluded if exposure country was missing or unascertainable or if there was a concomitant acute diagnosis unrelated to malaria. Records were analyzed to describe the demographic and clinical characteristics of international travellers with malaria.

Results

There were 5689 travellers included; 325 were children <18 years. More than half (53%) were visiting friends and relatives (VFRs). Most (83%) were exposed in sub-Saharan Africa. The median trip duration was 32 days (interquartile range 20–75); 53% did not have a pre-travel visit. More than half (62%) were hospitalized; children were hospitalized more frequently than adults (73 and 62%, respectively). Ninety-two per cent had a single Plasmodium species diagnosis, most frequently Plasmodium falciparum (4011; 76%). Travellers with P. falciparum were most frequently VFRs (60%). More than 40% of travellers with a trip duration ≤7 days had Plasmodium vivax. There were 444 (8%) travellers with severe malaria; 31 children had severe malaria. Twelve travellers died.

Conclusion

Malaria remains a serious threat to international travellers. Efforts must focus on preventive strategies aimed on children and VFRs, and chemoprophylaxis access and preventive measure adherence should be emphasized.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: QX Parasitology > Protozoa > QX 135 Plasmodia
WA Public Health > Preventive Medicine > WA 108 Preventive health services. Preventive medicine. Travel Medicine.
WC Communicable Diseases > Tropical and Parasitic Diseases > WC 750 Malaria
Faculty: Department: Clinical Sciences & International Health > Clinical Sciences Department
Digital Object Identifer (DOI): https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-1936-3
Depositing User: Stacy Murtagh
Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 15:40
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:15
URI: https://archive.lstmed.ac.uk/id/eprint/7426

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