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, Walden LM, Townend M
    J Travel Med, 2016 May;23(5).
    PMID: 27279126 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/taw036
    Few studies have examined emergency self treatment (EST) antimalarial prescribing patterns. 110 physician-members of the Travel Medicine Society of Ireland and British Global and Travel Health Association participated in this study. There was a trend towards the prescription of EST for travel to remote low-risk malaria areas; for long-term residents living in low-risk areas; and for frequent travellers to low-risk areas. This study provides insights into the use of EST in travellers' malaria.
  3. Flaherty G, Md Nor MN
    J Travel Med, 2016 Jan;23(1).
    PMID: 26782127 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tav010
    Risk assessment relies on the accuracy of the information provided by the traveller. A questionnaire was administered to 83 consecutive travellers attending a travel medicine clinic. The majority of travellers was uncertain about destinations within countries, transportation or type of accommodation. Most travellers were uncertain if they would be visiting malaria regions. The degree of uncertainty about itinerary potentially impacts on the ability of the travel medicine specialist to perform an adequate risk assessment, select appropriate vaccinations and prescribe malaria prophylaxis. This study reveals high levels of traveller uncertainty about their itinerary which may potentially reduce the effectiveness of their pre-travel consultation.
  4. Deris ZZ, Hasan H, Sulaiman SA, Wahab MS, Naing NN, Othman NH
    J Travel Med, 2010 Mar-Apr;17(2):82-8.
    PMID: 20412173 DOI: 10.1111/j.1708-8305.2009.00384.x
    BACKGROUND: Respiratory symptoms including cough, runny nose, sore throat, and fever are the most common clinical manifestations faced by hajj pilgrims in Mecca. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms among Malaysian hajj pilgrims and the effect of a few protective measures taken by hajj pilgrims to reduce respiratory symptoms.
    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted by distributing survey forms to Malaysian hajj pilgrims at transit center before flying back to Malaysia. The recruitment of respondents to the survey was on a voluntary basis.
    RESULTS: A total of 387 survey forms were available for analysis. The mean age was 50.4 +/- 11.0 years. The common respiratory symptoms among Malaysian hajj pilgrims were: cough 91.5%, runny nose 79.3%, fever 59.2%, and sore throat 57.1%. The prevalence of hajj pilgrims with triad of cough, subjective fever, and sore throat were 40.1%. The symptoms lasted less than 2 weeks in the majority of cases. Only 3.6% did not suffer from any of these symptoms. Seventy-two percent of hajj pilgrims received influenza vaccination before departure and 72.9% wore facemasks. Influenza vaccination was not associated with any of respiratory symptoms but it was significantly associated with longer duration of sore throat. Wearing masks was significantly associated with sore throat and longer duration of sore throat and fever.
    CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of respiratory symptoms was high among Malaysian hajj pilgrims and the current protective measures seemed inadequate to reduce it. Beside standardization of the term used in hajj studies, more collaborative effort should be taken to reduce respiratory symptoms. The hajj authority should prepare for the challenge of pandemic influenza by providing more healthcare facilities and implementation of more strict measures to reduce the transmission of pandemic influenza strain among hajj pilgrims.
  5. Hashim S, Ayub ZN, Mohamed Z, Hasan H, Harun A, Ismail N, et al.
    J Travel Med, 2016 Feb;23(2):tav019.
    PMID: 26858268 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tav019
    Respiratory illness continues to exert a burden on hajj pilgrims in Makkah. The purpose of this study is to determine the prevalence of respiratory illness and its associated factors among Malaysian hajj pilgrims in 2013 and to describe its preventive measures.
  6. Flaherty GT, Maxemous KK, Nossier RE, Bui YG
    J Travel Med, 2017 Sep 01;24(6).
    PMID: 29088481 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tax068
  7. Flaherty GT, Choi J
    J Travel Med, 2016 Feb;23(2):tav026.
    PMID: 26858274 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tav026
    Photography is an integral component of the international travel experience. Self-photography is becoming a mainstream behaviour in society and it has implications for the practice of travel medicine. Travellers who take selfies, including with the use of selfie sticks, may be subject to traumatic injuries associated with this activity. This review article is the first in the medical literature to address this emerging phenomenon.
  8. 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.

  9. Connolly R, Prendiville R, Cusack D, Flaherty G
    J Travel Med, 2017 Mar 01;24(2).
    PMID: 28395093 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/taw082
    Background: Death during international travel and the repatriation of human remains to one's home country is a distressing and expensive process. Much organization is required involving close liaison between various agencies.

    Methods: A review of the literature was conducted using the PubMed database. Search terms included: 'repatriation of remains', 'death', 'abroad', 'tourism', 'travel', 'travellers', 'travelling' and 'repatriation'. Additional articles were obtained from grey literature sources and reference lists.

    Results: The local national embassy, travel insurance broker and tour operator are important sources of information to facilitate the repatriation of the deceased traveller. Formal identification of the deceased's remains is required and a funeral director must be appointed. Following this, the coroner in the country or jurisdiction receiving the repatriated remains will require a number of documents prior to providing clearance for burial. Costs involved in repatriating remains must be borne by the family of the deceased although travel insurance may help defray some of the costs. If the death is secondary to an infectious disease, cremation at the site of death is preferred. No standardized procedure is in place to deal with the remains of a migrant's body at present and these remains are often not repatriated to their country of origin.

    Conclusions: Repatriation of human remains is a difficult task which is emotionally challenging for the bereaving family and friends. As a travel medicine practitioner, it is prudent to discuss all eventualities, including the risk of death, during the pre-travel consultation. Awareness of the procedures involved in this process may ease the burden on the grieving family at a difficult time.

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