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Volume 20, Number 4—April 2014

Research

Regional Variation in Travel-related Illness acquired in Africa, March 1997–May 2011

Marc MendelsonComments to Author , Pauline V. Han, Peter Vincent, Frank von Sonnenburg, Jakob P. Cramer, Louis Loutan, Kevin C. Kain, Philippe Parola, Stefan Hagmann, Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas, Mark Sotir, Patricia Schlagenhauf, and for the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network
Author affiliations: University of Cape Town Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa (M. Mendelson); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (P.V. Han, M. Sotir); Tokai Medicross Travel Clinic, Cape Town (P. Vincent); University of Munich, Munich, Germany (F. von Sonnenburg); University Medical Center, Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany (J.P. Cramer); University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland (L. Loutan); University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (K.C. Kain); Assitance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille–North University Hospital, Marseille, France (P. Parola); Yeshiva University Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Bronx, New York, USA (S. Hagmann); Cambridge University Hospitals National Health Service Trust, Cambridge, UK (E. Gkrania-Klotsas); University of Zurich Centre for Travel Medicine, Zurich, Switzerland (P. Schlagenhauf)

Main Article

Table 1

Characteristics of ill travelers returning from Africa who were seen at GeoSentinel clinic sites, March 1997–May 2011*

Total, 
N = 16,893 Central Africa, n = 1,547 Eastern Africa, n = 5,516 Northern Africa, n = 2,474 Southern Africa, n = 1,457 Western Africa, n = 5,899
Sex
M 8,698 (52) 922 (60) 2,582 (47) 1,126 (46) 723 (50) 3,345 (57)
F
8,130 (48)
615 (40)
2,909 (53)
1,344 (54)
733 (50)
2,529 (43)
Age, y
Median (range) 35 (0–92) 37 (0–92) 34 (0–89) 37 (0–87) 40 (0–87) 35 (0–84)
≤5 364 (2) 27 (2) 79 (1) 72 (3) 12 (1) 174 (3)
6–17 553 (3) 31 (2) 147 (3) 109 (4) 36 (2) 230 (4)
18–49 12,172 (72) 1,145 (75) 4,059 (74) 1,638 (67) 936 (64) 4,394 (75)
50–64 2,869 (17) 282 (18) 900 (16) 471 (19) 324 (22) 892 (15)
>65
853 (5)
52 (4)
304 (6)
170 (7)
147 (10)
180 (3)
Expatriate
1,066 (6)
276 (18)
315 (6)
54 (2)
22 (2)
399 (7)
Travel reason
Business 2,710 (16) 490 (32) 797 (14) 211 (9) 187 (13) 1,025 (17)
Volunteer 2,438 (14) 310 (20) 975 (18) 139 (6) 77 (5) 937 (16)
Student 419 (2) 29 (2) 162 (3) 14 (1) 28 (2) 186 (3)
Tourism 7,914 (47) 254 (16) 2,932 (53) 1821 (74) 1128 (78) 1,779 (30)
VFR†
3,304 (20)
442 (29)
622 (11)
276 (11)
34 (2)
1,930 (33)
Hospitalized 2,718 (16) 319 (21) 628 (12) 264 (11) 71 (5) 1,436 (25)
Died
11 (<1)
3 (<1)
2 (<1)
0
0
6 (<1)
Sought pretravel advice‡
Yes 8,752 (52) 775 (50) 3,387 (61) 860 (35) 875 (60) 2,855 (48)
No 4,721 (28) 383 (25) 1,172 (21) 1,038 (42) 345 (24) 1,783 (30)
Don’t know 3,420 (20) 389 (25) 957 (17) 576 (23) 237 (16) 1,261 (21)

*Values are no. (%) unless otherwise indicated. The United Nations geoscheme was used to classify Africa into subregions (5).
†VFR, visiting friends or relatives.
‡Sought advice from clinician pertaining to recognition of illnesses in travel destination, preventive measures, and treatment.

Main Article

1Contributing members of the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network are listed at the end of this article.

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