In 2012, international tourist arrivals exceeded one billion for the first time. Travelers can acquire infectious diseases not common in their home countries and can contribute to the spread of emerging infectious diseases, such as SARS, Ebola, and MERS. International travel- and migration-related illness is the scientific focus of GeoSentinel.
GeoSentinel is a global surveillance network of travel and tropical medicine clinicians that collects de-identified demographic, diagnostic, and travel information on ill travelers who cross international borders. Operated collaboratively by the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM: www.istm.org) and CDC, GeoSentinel is composed of 63 clinical sites in 29 countries on 6 continents. In addition to these sites, more than 200 affiliate members participate informally by contributing information on health events or travel medicine concerns. Affiliate members serve an essential role by increasing GeoSentinel’s reach.
The surveillance information collected by GeoSentinel is used to track geographic patterns of disease among international travelers and, thus, the movement of diseases worldwide. These data contribute to the science base that guides the pre-travel advice clinicians give to their patients and the medical care ill travelers receive. By informing pre-travel recommendations, GeoSentinel helps prevent illness among all types of international travelers and migrants.
Do you see ill international travelers? Could you contribute to GeoSentinel? Keep your finger on the pulse! Become a GeoSentinel site or affiliate member today. Learn more about GeoSentinel on the ISTM site.