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Medical Advice for Travelers.

PMID: 33597073 (view PubMed database entry)
DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0127 (read at publisher's website )

Sebastian Wendt, Dietmar Beier, Dennis Paquet, Henning Trawinski, André Fuchs, Christoph Lübbert,

<h4>Background</h4>In 2019, 1.5 billion international tourist trips were counted worldwide. Germany, with 70.8 million vacations lasting ≥ 5 days, was one of the populations most willing to travel. These days, even elderly and multimorbid persons regularly travel long-distance, which can be associated with significant health risks. By advising travelers and implementing preventive measures, the risk of illness can be reduced significantly.<h4>Methods</h4>A selective survey of PubMed was performed to identify publications on medical advice for travelers between 2000 and 2020. We included guidelines, studies, and recommendations that mainly deal with the preventive aspects of travel medicine and have a high level of practical relevance and the highest possible level of evidence. Previously published guidelines (based on the GRADE criteria) were adopted, and recommendations not based on the results of scientific studies were characterized as Good Clinical Practice (GCP).<h4>Results</h4>Many medical recommendations for travelers still rely on individualized, experience-based, or consensus-based assessments. Apart from a review of medical history and vaccination status, a risk analysis is performed, travel fitness is evaluated individually, and a prevention plan is designed. Particular attention is devoted to malaria prophylaxis, vector protection, and traveler's diarrhea. Medical advice before travel is especially important for the elderly, children, pregnant women, the chronically ill, long-term and adventure travelers as well as migrants from malaria-endemic areas who are returning home.<h4>Conclusion</h4>The health risks associated with travel can be minimized by specialist medical advice. Many recommendations are empirical in nature and require further research.

Dtsch Arztebl Int (Deutsches Arzteblatt international)
[2021, 118(Forthcoming):]

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