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Chapter 28 – Travel Health

Ronald H. Behrens,
Robert Steffen

Travel, especially to developing countries, is associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality. Travel health – the pre-travel segment of travel medicine – has become increasingly important for the 100 million residents of industrialized nations who travel annually to developing countries. Between 80% and 95% of these travellers are short-term tourists or persons visiting friends and relatives (VFR). Some travellers who work abroad may either make repeated short visits (airline crews or business persons) or reside for prolonged periods (missionaries, volunteer workers). Health risks differ between these groups and, depending on the environment and their behaviour, may vary within a single group.

The aim of pre-travel health advice is to reduce these risks by increasing the awareness of travellers and by promoting the use of preventive measures. The choice of these measures is guided by balancing the risk of illness or …