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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Sep 1;33(5):603-9. Epub 2001 Aug 6.

Fever in returned travelers: review of hospital admissions for a 3-year period.

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  • 1Victorian Infectious Diseases Service, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Victoria, Australia.


We reviewed 232 consecutive patients admitted to a tertiary-care hospital under the care of an infectious diseases unit for management of febrile illness acquired overseas. A total of 53% presented to hospital within 1 week of return and 96% within 6 months. Malaria was the most common diagnosis (27% of patients), followed by respiratory tract infection (24%), gastroenteritis (14%), dengue fever (8%), and bacterial pneumonia (6%). Pretravel vaccination may have prevented a number of admissions, including influenza (n=11), typhoid fever (n=8) and hepatitis A (n=6). Compared to those who had not traveled to Africa, those who had were 6 times more likely to present with falciparum than nonfalciparum malaria. An itinerary that included Asia was associated with a 13-fold increased risk of dengue, but a lower risk of malaria. Palpable splenomegaly was associated with an 8-fold risk of malaria and hepatomegaly with a 4-fold risk of malaria. As a cause of fever, bacterial pneumonia was > or =5 times more likely in those who were aged >40 years.

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