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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2012 Jan;86(1):23-8. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.2012.11-0430.

Characteristics and spectrum of disease among ill returned travelers from pre- and post-earthquake Haiti: The GeoSentinel experience.

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


To describe patient characteristics and disease spectrum among foreign visitors to Haiti before and after the 2010 earthquake, we used GeoSentinel Global Surveillance Network data and compared 1 year post-earthquake versus 3 years pre-earthquake. Post-earthquake travelers were younger, predominantly from the United States, more frequently international assistance workers, and more often medically counseled before their trip than pre-earthquake travelers. Work-related stress and upper respiratory tract infections were more frequent post-earthquake; acute diarrhea, dengue, and Plasmodium falciparum malaria were important contributors of morbidity both pre- and post-earthquake. These data highlight the importance of providing destination- and disaster-specific pre-travel counseling and post-travel evaluation and medical management to persons traveling to or returning from a disaster location, and evaluations should include attention to the psychological wellbeing of these travelers. For travel to Haiti, focus should be on mosquito-borne illnesses (dengue and P. falciparum malaria) and travelers' diarrhea.

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