Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 51 in total

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  1. Chang L, Lim BCW, Flaherty GT, Torresi J
    J Travel Med, 2019 Sep 02;26(6).
    PMID: 31066446 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/taz034
    BACKGROUND: With the advent of highly active antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) it has become possible for people with HIV to travel to destinations that may place them at risk of a number of infectious diseases. Prevention of infections by vaccination is therefore of paramount importance for these travellers. However, vaccine responsiveness in HIV-positive individuals is not infrequently reduced compared to HIV-negative individuals. An understanding of the expected immune responses to vaccines in HIV-positive travellers is therefore important in planning the best approach to a pretravel consultation.

    METHODS: A PubMed search was performed on HIV or acquired immune deficiency syndrome together with a search for specific vaccines. Review of the literature was performed to develop recommendations on vaccinations for HIV-positive travellers to high-risk destinations.

    RESULTS: The immune responses to several vaccines are reduced in HIV-positive people. In the case of vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, pneumococcus, meningococcus and yellow fever there is a good body of data in the literature showing reduced immune responsiveness and also to help guide appropriate vaccination strategies. For other vaccines like Japanese encephalitis, rabies, typhoid fever, polio and cholera the data are not as robust; however, it is still possible to gain some understanding of the reduced responses seen with these vaccines.

    CONCLUSION: This review provides a summary of the immunological responses to commonly used vaccines for the HIV-positive travellers. This information will help guide travel medicine practitioners in making decisions about vaccination and boosting of travellers with HIV.

  2. Flaherty GT, Geoghegan R, Brown IG, Finucane FM
    J Travel Med, 2019 05 10;26(3).
    PMID: 30855079 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/taz018
    BACKGROUND: It is unknown whether obesity is a barrier to international travel. The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe the travel experiences of a cohort of severely obese individuals attending a hospital-based bariatric service, to identify their perceived barriers to travel and to generate recommendations that address the needs of severely obese individuals.

    METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with severely obese patients attending a regional, structured, multidisciplinary lifestyle modification programme. Coding and thematic analysis of the transcripts were completed by three independent researchers. A thematic analysis was performed based on examination of the transcribed interviews. Demographic and clinical data such as gender, age and body mass index were also recorded.

    RESULTS: Twelve patients (six males), with a mean age of 54 ± 5.98 years and a mean body mass index of 46.2 ± 8.2 kg/m2, agreed to semi-structured interviews (14-52-minute duration). The principal themes emerging from the interviews included obese air traveller embarrassment, physical discomfort on commercial flights, perceived weight bias, challenges in accessing hotel rooms, heat intolerance in warm climates, restricted leisure travel activities and medical co-morbidities. Most of the interviewees perceived a health benefit to travel but regarded obesity as a significant barrier to international travel.

    CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the limitations experienced by obese travellers when engaging in international travel. Our results may inform the pre-travel health advice given to obese travellers. They might also serve to raise awareness among operators within the travel industry of the difficulties travellers with severe obesity face.

  3. Lally L, McCabe E, Flaherty GT
    J Travel Med, 2019 Jan 01;26(1).
    PMID: 30476182 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tay135
  4. Pereira RT, Malone CM, Flaherty GT
    J Travel Med, 2018 06 01;25(1).
    PMID: 29924349 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tay042
    Background: Medical tourism has witnessed significant growth in recent years. The emerging trend towards international travel for cosmetic surgical interventions has not previously been reviewed. The current review aims to critically address the scale and impact of cosmetic surgical tourism and to delineate the complication profile of this form of medical tourism.

    Methods: Articles published in the English language on the PubMed database that were relevant to surgical tourism and the complications of elective surgical procedures abroad were examined. Reference lists of articles identified were further scrutinized. The search terms used included combinations of 'surgery abroad', 'cosmetic surgery abroad', 'cosmetic surgery tourism', 'cosmetic surgery complications' and 'aesthetic tourism'.

    Results: This article critically reviews the epidemiology of cosmetic surgical tourism and its associated economic factors. Surgical complications of selected procedures, including perioperative complications, are described. The implications for travel medicine practice are considered and recommendations for further research are proposed.

    Conclusion: This narrative literature review focuses on the issues affecting travellers who obtain cosmetic surgical treatment overseas. There is a lack of focus in the travel medicine literature on the non-surgery-related morbidity of this special group of travellers. Original research exploring the motivation and pre-travel preparation, including the psychological counselling, of cosmetic surgical tourists is indicated.

  5. Flaherty GT, Caumes E
    J Travel Med, 2018 01 01;25(1).
    PMID: 29635642 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tay019
    Background: Traumatic deaths, and more particularly suicides, during international travel receive a disproportionately low level of attention in the travel medicine literature. We describe the demographic profile of international travellers whose death occurred at the Cliffs of Moher along the Atlantic seaboard in Ireland.

    Methods: Coroners' files for the 25 years between 1993 and 2017 were interrogated. All cases of death on or at the cliffs were examined, and demographic data were extracted, including date of death, gender, age, nationality, whether the victims were alone at the cliffs prior to their death, whether the fall was witnessed, prevailing weather conditions, post-mortem examinations, toxicology reports and inquest verdicts.

    Results: Overall, 66 deaths occurred on or at the base of the Cliffs of Moher during the period 1993 through August 2017. In total, 18 (27.3%) of the victims were international visitors to Ireland, including 11 males (61.1%). The mean age of travellers (n = 17) was 34.2 years. Victims were nationals of 12 different countries, with 13 being European nationals. Most deaths occurred in summer (n = 7) or spring (n = 6), with eight deaths (44%) reported at weekends. In total, 15 victims (83.3%) had walked along the cliff path alone. A jump or fall from the cliffs was witnessed in only two cases (11.1%). Post-mortem examinations revealed multiple traumatic injuries consistent with a fall from a height. Four cases had evidence of alcohol intoxication. Suicide or open verdicts were returned in 50% (n = 9) of the cases.

    Conclusions: Travelling alone to the site, purchasing one-way tickets, or depositing belongings on the clifftop support the possibility of suicidal intent, while being intoxicated could be a co-factor in suicidal jumps or support the possibility of an accidental fall. This knowledge could help to identify travellers at the greatest risk of death at cliffs.

  6. Nakayama E, Tajima S, Kotaki A, Shibasaki KI, Itokawa K, Kato K, et al.
    J Travel Med, 2018 01 01;25(1).
    PMID: 29394382 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tax072
    Background: Due to the huge 2-way human traffic between Japan and Chikungunya (CHIK) fever-endemic regions, 89 imported cases of CHIK fever were confirmed in Japan from January 2006 to June 2016. Fifty-four of 89 cases were confirmed virologically and serologically at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan and we present the demographic profiles of the patients and the phylogenetic features of 14 CHIK virus (CHIKV) isolates.

    Methods: Patients were diagnosed with CHIK fever by a combination of virus isolation, viral RNA amplification, IgM antibody-, IgG antibody-, and/or neutralizing antibody detection. The whole-genome sequences of the CHIKV isolates were determined by next-generation sequencing.

    Results: Prior to 2014, the source countries of the imported CHIK fever cases were limited to South and Southeast Asian countries. After 2014, when outbreaks occurred in the Pacific and Caribbean Islands and Latin American countries, there was an increase in the number of imported cases from these regions. A phylogenetic analysis of 14 isolates revealed that four isolates recovered from three patients who returned from Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Angola, belonged to the East/Central/South African genotype, while 10 isolates from 10 patients who returned from Indonesia, the Philippines, Tonga, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Colombia and Cuba, belonged to the Asian genotype.

    Conclusion: Through the phylogenetic analysis of the isolates, we could predict the situations of the CHIK fever epidemics in Indonesia, Angola and Cuba. Although Japan has not yet experienced an autochthonous outbreak of CHIK fever, the possibility of the future introduction of CHIKV through an imported case and subsequent local transmission should be considered, especially during the mosquito-active season. The monitoring and reporting of imported cases will be useful to understand the situation of the global epidemic, to increase awareness of and facilitate the diagnosis of CHIK fever, and to identify a future CHIK fever outbreak in Japan.

  7. Johnston N, Sandys N, Geoghegan R, O'Donovan D, Flaherty G
    J Travel Med, 2018 01 01;25(1).
    PMID: 29394388 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tax092
    Background: Increasingly, medical students from developed countries are undertaking international medical electives in developing countries. Medical students understand the many benefits of these electives, such as the opportunity to develop clinical skills, to gain insight into global health issues and to travel to interesting regions of the world. However, they may be much less aware of the risk to their health and wellbeing while abroad. Compounding this problem, medical students may not seek advice from travel medicine practitioners and often receive inadequate or no information from their medical school prior to departure.

    Methods: The PubMed database was searched for relevant literature relating to the health of medical elective students. Combinations of the following key words were used as search terms: 'international health elective', 'medical student' and 'health risks'. Articles were restricted to those published in English from 1997 through June 2017. A secondary review of the reference lists of these articles was performed. The grey literature was also searched for relevant material.

    Results: This narrative literature review outlines the risks of clinical electives in resource-poor settings which include exposure to infectious illness, trauma, sexual health problems, excessive sun exposure, mental health issues and crime. Medical students may mitigate these health risks by being informed and well prepared for high-risk situations. The authors provide evidence-based travel advice which aims to improve pre-travel preparation and maximize student traveller safety. A safer and more enjoyable elective may be achieved if students follow road safety advice, take personal safety measures, demonstrate cultural awareness, attend to their psychological wellbeing and avoid risk-taking behaviours.

    Conclusion: This article may benefit global health educators, international elective coordinators and travel medicine practitioners. For students, a comprehensive elective checklist, an inventory of health kit items and useful web-based educational resources are provided to help prepare for electives abroad.

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