Travel-related disease

A disease to which travelers are susceptible specifically because of their travel. Travel-related diseases are the purview of travel medicine. Travel medicine is not really new but it began to flourish in the 1980’s, due to the growing numbers of people traveling internationally, especially to less developed areas of the world. Destinations once visited only by soldiers, missionaries and explorers became destinations for ordinary travelers from western countries. Along with the increase in this type of travel comes exposure to health risks that, in large part, are new to the western world.

There are scores of travel-related diseases. They include, but are not by any means limited to the following entities listed as travel-related diseases by the National Center for Infectious Diseases of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Entities marked with an asterisk (*) denote risks due to exposure to unimmunized persons.

African sleeping sickness (African trypanosomiasis);
altitude illness;
BSE (“mad cow disease”) and nvCJD;
Campylobacter infections;
Chagas disease (American trypanosomiasis);
dengue fever;
*diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT);
E. coli (infection with Escherichia coli);
giardiasis (Giardia infection);
head lice (pediculosis);
influenza (flu);
leishmaniasis (Leishmania infection);
Lyme disease;
*measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR);
Norovirus infection (Norwalk/Norwalk-like virus infection);
onchocerciasis (river blindness);
rickettsial infections;
rotavirus infection;
salmonellosis (Salmonella infection);
sexually transmitted diseases (STDs);
shigellosis (Shigella infection);
tuberculosis (TB);
typhoid fever;
typhus in all its forms;
*varicella (chickenpox);
Vibrio parahaemolyticus;
viral hemorrhagic fevers (eg, Ebola, Lassa, Marburg, Rift Valley);
West Nile fever; and
yellow fever.

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Disclaimer: Travel-related disease definition / meaning should not be considered complete, up to date, and is not intended to be used in place of a visit, consultation, or advice of a legal, medical, or any other professional. All content on this website is for informational purposes only.