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.
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.
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.
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.