Displaying publications 1 - 20 of 60 in total

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Han CT, Flaherty G
    J Travel Med, 2015 Sep-Oct;22(5):312-7.
    PMID: 26095866 DOI: 10.1111/jtm.12221
    BACKGROUND: Patients with complex medical comorbidities travel for protracted periods to remote destinations, often with limited access to medical care. Few descriptions are available of their preexisting health burden. This study aimed to characterize preexisting medical conditions and medications of travelers seeking pre-travel health advice at a specialized travel medicine clinic.
    METHODS: Records of travelers attending the Galway Tropical Medical Bureau clinic between 2008 and 2014 were examined and information relating to past medical history was entered into a database. Data were recorded only where the traveler had a documented medical history and/or was taking medications.
    RESULTS: Of the 4,817 records available, 56% had a documented medical history and 24% listed medications. The majority of travelers with preexisting conditions were female. The mean age of the cohort was 31.68 years. The mean period remaining before the planned trip was 40 days. Southeast Asia was the most popular single destination, and 17% of travelers with medical conditions were traveling alone. The most frequently reported conditions were allergies (20%), insect bite sensitivity (15%), asthma (11%), psychiatric conditions (4%), and hypertension (3%). Of the 30 diabetic travelers, 14 required insulin; 4.5% of travelers were taking immunosuppressant drugs, including corticosteroids. Half of the female travelers were taking the oral contraceptive pill while 11 travelers were pregnant at the time of their pre-travel consultation.
    CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an insight into the medical profile of travelers attending a travel health clinic. The diverse range of diseases reported highlights the importance of educating physicians and nurses about the specific travel health risks associated with particular conditions. Knowledge of the effects of travel on underlying medical conditions will inform the pre-travel health consultation.
  4. 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.
  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
    BACKGROUND: 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.

    METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Makkah and Malaysia during the 2013 hajj season. A self-administered proforma on social demographics, previous experience of hajj or umrah, smoking habits, co-morbid illness and practices of preventive measures against respiratory illness were obtained.

    RESULTS: A total of 468 proforma were analysed. The prevalence of the respiratory illness was 93.4% with a subset of 78.2% fulfilled the criteria for influenza-like illness (ILI). Most of them (77.8%) had a respiratory illness of <2 weeks duration. Approximately 61.8% were administered antibiotics but only 2.1% of them had been hospitalized. Most of them acquired the infection after a brief stay at Arafat (81.2%). Vaccination coverages for influenza virus and pneumococcal disease were quite high, 65.2% and 59.4%, respectively. For other preventive measures practices, only 31.8% of them practiced good hand hygiene, ∼82.9% of pilgrims used surgical face masks, N95 face masks, dry towels, wet towels or veils as their face masks. Nearly one-half of the respondents (44.4%) took vitamins as their food supplement. Malaysian hajj pilgrims with previous experience of hajj (OR 0.24; 95% CI 0.10-0.56) or umrah (OR 0.19; 95% CI 0.07-0.52) and those who have practiced good hand hygiene (OR 0.35; 95% CI 0.16-0.79) were found to be significantly associated with lower risk of having respiratory illness. Otherwise, pilgrims who had contact with those with respiratory illness (OR 2.61; 95% CI 1.12-6.09) was associated with higher risk.

    CONCLUSIONS: The prevalence of respiratory illness remains high among Malaysian hajj pilgrims despite having some practices of preventive measures. All preventive measures which include hand hygiene, wearing face masks and influenza vaccination must be practiced together as bundle of care to reduce respiratory illness effectively.

  6. Lippmann JM, Fenner PJ, Winkel K, Gershwin LA
    J Travel Med, 2011 Jul-Aug;18(4):275-81.
    PMID: 21722240 DOI: 10.1111/j.1708-8305.2011.00531.x
    Jellyfish are a common cause of injury throughout the world, with fatalities and severe systemic events not uncommon after tropical stings. The internet is a recent innovation to gain information on real-time health issues of travel destinations, including Southeast Asia.
  7. Flaherty GT, Chen B, Avalos G
    J Travel Med, 2017 Sep 01;24(6).
    PMID: 28922821 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tax059
    The purpose of this study was to examine the principal travel health priorities of travellers. The most frequently selected travel health concerns were accessing medical care abroad, dying abroad, insect bites, malaria, personal safety and travel security threats. The travel health risks of least concern were culture shock, fear of flying, jet lag and sexually transmitted infections. This study is the first to develop a hierarchy of self-declared travel health risk priorities among travellers.
  8. Flaherty GT, Maxemous KK, Nossier RE, Bui YG
    J Travel Med, 2017 Sep 01;24(6).
    PMID: 29088481 DOI: 10.1093/jtm/tax068
  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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