Browsing by Subject "Travel"

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  • Siikamäki, Heli; Kivela, Pia; Fotopoulos, Mikael; Kantele, Anu (2017)
    Background: Although infections represent the most common health problem of travellers abroad, data on morbidity and incidences of various infections are scarce. Method: Data on infections of Finnish travellers during 2010-2012 were retrieved from the database of SOS International, an assistance organization covering 95% of Finns requiring aid abroad. The study included 30,086 cases. For incidence calculation, the data were linked to the numbers of Finns visiting these regions during the same period as recorded by the Official Statistics of Finland. Results: The incidence of infections was particularly high in Africa, southern Europe plus the eastern Mediterranean, and Asia plus Oceania. The most frequent diagnoses were acute gastroenteritis (38.0%) and respiratory-tract infections (RTI) (34.5%), followed by infections of the ear (12.6%), skin or subcutaneous tissue (5.1%), urogenital tract (4.2%), eye (3.1%), and systemic febrile infections (2.2%). Vaccinepreventable diseases (VPD) accounted for 0.8% of cases, with varicella as most (49%) and influenza as second-most (27%) common. Conclusions: Incidence of infections was higher in southern than in eastern and western Europe. Gastroenteritis and RTI proved the most frequent diagnoses, whereas systemic febrile infections were uncommon. Despite pre-travel immunizations, VPDs still occurred; pre-travel consultation should cover both varicella and influenza. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
  • Nousiainen, Arttu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    Lisääntyvä antibioottiresistenssi (AMR, antimicrobial resistance) on maailmanlaajuinen uhka ihmisen terveydelle. Vuonna 2019 arvioitiin AMR:n aiheuttamien ylimääräisten kuolemien määräksi jo 1.27 miljoona; luku ylittää malarian tai HIV-infektion vastaavat arviot. Sairaaloissa AMR ongelma johtaa pidentyneisiin hoitojaksoihin, vakavampiin infektioihin ja suurempaan kuolleisuuteen ja myös leikkaushoidossa tarvittavan profylaksian käyttö on vaarassa. On selvää, että moderni lääketiede ei toimi nykyiseen tapaan ilman antibiootteja. Moniresistentit Enterobakteerit ovat yleistyneet viime vuosina kaikkialla; korkeimman antibioottiresistenssin alueilla ne aiheuttavat jo suurimman osan esimerkiksi virtsatieinfektioista. Näiden bakteerien esiintyvyys on suurinta Etelä- ja Kaakkois-Aasiassa,Saharan eteläpuolisessa Afrikassa sekä Etelä-Amerikassa. Kehitys on hälyttävää myös Euroopassa. Merkittävänä syynä tähän on resistenssin leviäminen alueelta toiselle matkailun, kaupan ja eläinten mukana. Korkean riskin alueilla vierailevista jopa 30-90% kantaa palatessaan moniresistenttejä suolistobakteereita. Tässä työssä tutkimme 783:n Benin matkaajan ESBL-PE (extended-spectrum betalactamase producing Enterobacteriaceae) bakteerin kantajuutta ulostenäytteistä, jotka kerättiin ennen matkaa, Beninissä, heti matkalta paluun jälkeen ja säännöllisin väliajoin sen jälkeen.. Ennen matkaa ESBL-PE kantajien osuus oli 4.4% ja heti matkan jälkeen 54%. Matkan aikana ja heti paluun jälkeen kerättyjen näytteiden perusteella 80% kolonisoitui matkan aikana. Kuukauden kuluttua paluusta kerätyissä näytteissä esiintyvyys oli enää 24%. Tutkimuksessa tuli tilastollisesti merkittävä ero niiden välillä, jotka antoivat näytteen paluupäivänä tai sitä seuraavana päivänä verrattuna niihin jotka antoivat näytteen vasta kolmen päivän kuluttua (68% vs 48%). Riskitekijäanalyysin perusteella D-vitamiinin talviaikainen käyttö saattoi jopa suojata ESBL-PE kolonisaatiolta. Tutkimus osoitti, että matkailijoista merkittävä osa dekolonisoituu jo ensimmäisten päivien ja viikkojen aikana. Jatkossa tarkoituksena on selvittää, miksi jotkut kannat onnistuvat kolonisoimaan suoliston pitkäksi aikaa.
  • Zöldi, Viktor; Sane, Jussi; Kantele, Anu; Rimhanen-Finne, Ruska; Salmenlinna, Saara; Lyytikäinen, Outi (2018)
    Background: Overnight international travels made by Finns more than doubled during 1995-2015. To estimate risks and observe trends of travel-related notifiable sexually transmitted and food- and water-borne infections (STIs and FWIs) among travellers, we analysed national reports of gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis A, shigellosis, campylobacteriosis and salmonellosis cases and related them to travel statistics. Method: Cases notified as travel-related to the Finnish infectious diseases register were used as numerators and overnight stays of Statistics Finland surveys as denominator. We calculated overall risks (per 100,000 travellers) and assessed trends (using regression model) in various geographic regions. Results: Of all travel-related cases during 1995-2015, 2304 were STIs and 70,929 FWIs. During 2012-2015, Asia-Oceania showed highest risk estimates for gonorrhoea (11.0; 95%CI, 9.5-13), syphilis (1.4; 0.93-2.1), salmonellosis (157; 151-164), and campylobacteriosis (135; 129-141), and Africa for hepatitis A (4.5; 2.5-7.9), and shigellosis (35; 28-43). When evaluating at country level, the highest risks of infections was found in Thailand, except for hepatitis A ranking Hungary the first. During 2000-2011, significantly decreasing trends occurred for most FWIs particularly in the European regions and for STIs in Russia-Baltics. Conclusions: Our findings can be used in targeting pre-travel advice, which should also cover those visiting Thailand or European hepatitis A risk areas.
  • Poom, Age; Willberg, Elias; Toivonen, Tuuli (2021)
    Daily travel through the urban fabric exposes urban dwellers to a range of environmental conditions that may have an impact on their health and wellbeing. Knowledge about exposures during travel, their associations with travel behavior, and their social and health outcomes are still limited. In our review, we aim to explain how the current environmental exposure research addresses the interactions between human and environmental systems during travel through their spatial, temporal and contextual dimensions. Based on the 104 selected studies, we identify significant recent advances in addressing the spatiotemporal dynamics of exposure during travel. However, the conceptual and methodological framework for understanding the role of multiple environmental exposures in travel environments is still in an early phase, and the health and wellbeing impacts at individual or population level are not well known. Further research with greater geographical balance is needed to fill the gaps in the empirical evidence, and linking environmental exposures during travel with the causal health and wellbeing outcomes. These advancements can enable evidence-based urban and transport planning to take the next step in advancing urban livability.
  • Peltola, Heikki; Kyrönseppä, Hannu (2017)
  • Lääveri, Tinja; Vlot, Jessica A.; van Dam, Alje P.; Häkkinen, Hanni K.; Sonder, Gerard J. B.; Visser, Leo G.; Kantele, Anu (2018)
    Background: One third of travellers to low- and middle-income regions of the tropics and subtropics become colonized by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). The risk varies by destination and, for each traveller, may be substantially further increased by travellers' diarrhoea (TD) and antibiotic use. Despite the risk of TD in Africa, ESBL-PE acquisition rates in all studies are lower there than in Asia. Africa has become increasingly popular as a destination for international travellers, yet minimal data are available from the continent's subregions and countries. Methods: We analysed subregion- and country-specific data on carriage and risk factors for ESBL-PE colonization pooled from three prospective studies conducted between 2009 and 2013 among Finnish and Dutch travellers. The data were subjected to multivariable analysis of risk factors. In addition, we compared our data to two recent large investigations reporting data by subregion and country. Results: Our joint analysis comprised data on 396 travellers. The ESBL-PE colonization rate was highest in Northern Africa, followed by Middle and Eastern Africa, and lowest in Southern and Western Africa. Of individual countries with more than 15 visitors, the highest rates were seen for Egypt (12/17; 70.6%), Ghana (6/23; 26.1%), and Tanzania (14/81; 17.3%); the rates among travellers to Egypt were comparable to those reported in South and Southeast Asia. In a pooled multivariable analysis, travel destination, age, overnight hospitalisation abroad, TD, and use of fluoroquinolones were independently associated with increased ESBL-PE colonization rates. Conlusions: Even in areas with relatively low risk of colonization, antimicrobials clearly predispose to colonization with ESBL-PE. Travellers to Africa should be cautioned against unnecessary use of antibiotics.
  • Lääveri, Tinja; Vlot, Jessica A; van Dam, Alje P; Häkkinen, Hanni K; Sonder, Gerard J B; Visser, Leo G; Kantele, Anu (BioMed Central, 2018)
    Abstract Background One third of travellers to low- and middle-income regions of the tropics and subtropics become colonized by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). The risk varies by destination and, for each traveller, may be substantially further increased by travellers’ diarrhoea (TD) and antibiotic use. Despite the risk of TD in Africa, ESBL-PE acquisition rates in all studies are lower there than in Asia. Africa has become increasingly popular as a destination for international travellers, yet minimal data are available from the continent’s subregions and countries. Methods We analysed subregion- and country-specific data on carriage and risk factors for ESBL-PE colonization pooled from three prospective studies conducted between 2009 and 2013 among Finnish and Dutch travellers. The data were subjected to multivariable analysis of risk factors. In addition, we compared our data to two recent large investigations reporting data by subregion and country. Results Our joint analysis comprised data on 396 travellers. The ESBL-PE colonization rate was highest in Northern Africa, followed by Middle and Eastern Africa, and lowest in Southern and Western Africa. Of individual countries with more than 15 visitors, the highest rates were seen for Egypt (12/17; 70.6%), Ghana (6/23; 26.1%), and Tanzania (14/81; 17.3%); the rates among travellers to Egypt were comparable to those reported in South and Southeast Asia. In a pooled multivariable analysis, travel destination, age, overnight hospitalisation abroad, TD, and use of fluoroquinolones were independently associated with increased ESBL-PE colonization rates. Conlusions Even in areas with relatively low risk of colonization, antimicrobials clearly predispose to colonization with ESBL-PE. Travellers to Africa should be cautioned against unnecessary use of antibiotics.
  • Kantele, Anu; Mero, Sointu; Kirveskari, Juha; Laaveri, Tinja (2017)
    Background: One third of travellers to the poor regions of the (sub) tropics become colonized by extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE). Co-resistance to non-betalactam antibiotics complicates the treatment of potential ESBL-PE infections. Methods: We analysed co-resistance to non-beta-lactams among travel-acquired ESBL-PE isolates of 90 visitors to the (sub) tropics with respect to major risk factors of colonization: destination, age, travellers' diarrhoea (TD) and antibiotic (AB) use. Results: Of the ESBL-PE isolates, 53%, 52%, 73%, and 2% proved co-resistant to ciprofloxacin, tobramycin, co-trimoxazole, and nitrofurantoin, respectively. The rates were similar among those with (TD+) or without (TD-) travellers' diarrhoea. Among fluoroquinolone-users vs. AB non-users, the co-resistance rates for ciprofloxacin were 95% versus 37% (p = 0.001), for tobramycin 85% versus 43% (p = 0.005), co-trimoxazole 85% versus 68% (p = 0.146), and nitrofurantoin 5% versus 2% (p = 0.147). In multivariable analysis co-resistance to ciprofloxacin was associated with increasing age, fluoroquinolone use, and tobramycin resistance. Conlusions: While TD predisposes to ESBL-PE non-selectively, antimicrobial use favours strains resistant to drug taken and, simultaneously, any drug with resistance genetically linked to the drug used. Antibiotics taken during travel predispose to ESBL-PE with a high co-resistance rate. (C) 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd.
  • Suomela, Jarkko (2018)
    Lähtötilanne 72-vuotias mies oli ollut kolme viikkoa Brasiliassa ja hakeutui pari päivää matkan jälkeen terveyskeskuksen päivystykseen rajun ripuloinnin ja vatsakivun vuoksi. Oireet olivat alkaneet kolme päivää ennen paluumatkaa, ja alkuvaiheessa oli ollut myös oksentelua.
  • Sinkkonen, Wera; Kari, Ilkka; Suomela, Jarkko (2018)
    Anamneesin kertaus 72-vuotiaalla miehellä oli alkanut Brasilian matkan lopulla raju oksentelu ja ripuli. Hän hakeutui ¬terveyskeskuksen päivystykseen pari päivää kotiintulon jälkeen.
  • Koski, Anniina; Suomela, Jarkko (2017)
    Anamneesin kertaus Terveyskeskukseen tulee 19-vuotias nainen, joka ei ole aiemmin asioinut siellä. Hän kertoo lähtevänsä muutaman viikon päästä lomamatkalle ulkomaille ja sitä ennen pitäisi saada lääkkeet uusituksi.
  • Khawaja, T.; Kirveskari, J.; Johansson, S.; Väisänen, J.; Djupsjöbacka, A.; Nevalainen, A.; Kantele, A. (2017)
    Objectives: The pandemic spread of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria poses a threat to healthcare worldwide, with highest prevalence in indigent regions of the (sub) tropics. As hospitalization constitutes a major risk factor for colonization, infection control management in low-prevalence countries urgently needs background data on patients hospitalized abroad. Methods: We collected data on 1122 patients who, after hospitalization abroad, were treated at the Helsinki University Hospital between 2010 and 2013. They were screened for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), extended-spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (ESBL-PE), vancomycin-resistant enterococci, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE), multiresistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa and multiresistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Risk factors for colonization were explored by multivariate analysis. Results: MDR colonization rates were higher for those hospitalized in the (sub) tropics (55%; 208/377) compared with temperate zones (17%; 125/745). For ESBL-PE the percentages were 50% (190/377) versus 12% (92/745), CPE 3.2% (12/377) versus 0.4% (3/745) and MRSA 6.6% (25/377) versus 2.4% (18/745). Colonization rates proved highest in those returning from South Asia (77.6%; 38/49), followed by those having visited Latin America (60%; 9/16), Africa (60%; 15/25) and East and Southeast Asia (52.5%; 94/179). Destination, interhospital transfer, short time interval to hospitalization, young age, surgical intervention, residence abroad, visiting friends and relatives, and antimicrobial use proved independent risk factors for colonization. Conclusions: Post-hospitalization colonization rates proved higher in the (sub) tropics than elsewhere; 11% (38/333) of carriers developed an MDR infection. We identified several independent risk factors for contracting MDR bacteria. The data provide a basis for infection control guidelines in low-prevalence countries (C) 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.
  • Vilkman, Katri; Lääveri, Tinja; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Kantele, Anu (2019)
    Background: As antibiotics predispose travelers to acquiring multidrug-resistant intestinal bacteria, they should no longer be considered a mainstay for treating travelers' diarrhea. It has been claimed that stand-by antibiotics are justified as a means to avoid visits to local healthcare providers which often lead to polypharmacy. Method: We revisited the traveler data of 316 prospectively recruited volunteers with travelers' diarrhea by retrieving from questionnaires and health diaries information on antibiotic use, stand-by antibiotic carriage, and visits with local healthcare. Multivariable analysis was applied to identify factors associated with antibiotic use. Results: Among our 316 volunteers with travelers' diarrhea, however, carrying stand-by antibiotics seemed not to reduce the rate of healthcare-seeking; on the contrary, antibiotic use was more frequent among stand-by antibiotic carriers (34%) than non-carriers (11%). Antibiotics were equally taken for severe and incapacitating travelers' diarrhea, but compared to non-carriers, stand-by antibiotic carriers resorted to medication also for mild/moderate (38% vs. 4%) and non-incapacitating disease (29% vs. 5%). Antibiotic use was associated with stand-by antibiotic carriage (OR 7.2; 95%CI 2.8-18.8), vomiting (OR 3.5; 95%CI 1.3-9.5), incapacitating diarrhea (OR 3.6; 95%CI 1.3-9.8), age (OR 1.03; 95%CI 1.00-1.05), and healthcare visit for diarrhea (OR 465.3; 95%CI 22.5-9633.6). Conclusions: Carriage of stand-by antibiotics encouraged less cautious use of antibiotics. Recommendations involving prescription of antibiotics for all travelers require urgent revision.
  • Savolainen, Ulla (2017)
    In this article, I examine the intertextuality of reminiscence writings of Karelian evacuees in Finland. The main topics of these writings are the two journeys of evacuation from the ceded Karelia to Finland, which writers experienced as chil- dren during and after the Second World War, and journeys back to the region of their childhood, which became possible after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In the case of negotiations surrounding spatiotemporal distance and the creation of bridges between the past and the present, I argue that intertextuality plays a crucial but somewhat underanalyzed role in reminiscing.
  • Vilkman, Katri; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Laaveri, Tinja; Siikamäki, Heli Marja-Sisko; Kantele, Anu (2016)
    Background: The annual number of international tourist arrivals has recently exceeded one billion, yet surprisingly few studies have characterized travelers' behavior, illness, and risk factors in a prospective setting. Particularly scarce are surveys of data spanning travel, return, and follow-up of the same cohort. This study examines behavior and illness among travelers while abroad, after return home, and at follow-up. Patterns of behavior connected to type of travel and illness are characterized so as to identify risk factors and provide background data for pre-travel advice. Methods: Volunteers to this prospective cohort study were recruited at visits to a travel clinic prior to departure. Data on the subjects' health and behavior were collected by questionnaires before and after journeys and over a three-week follow-up. In addition, the subjects were asked to fill in health diaries while traveling. Results: The final study population consisted of 460 subjects, 79 % of whom reported illness during travel or on arrival: 69 % had travelers' diarrhea (TD), 17 % skin problems, 17 % fever, 12 % vomiting, 8 % respiratory tract infection, 4 % urinary tract infection, 2 % ear infection, 4 % gastrointestinal complaints other than TD or vomiting, and 4 % other symptoms. Of all subjects, 10 % consulted a doctor and 0.7 % were hospitalized; 18 % took antimicrobials, with TD as the most common indication (64 %). Ongoing symptoms were reported by 25 % of all travelers upon return home. During the three-week follow-up (return rate 51 %), 32 % of respondents developed new-onset symptoms, 20 % visited a doctor and 1.7 % were hospitalized. Factors predisposing to health problems were identified by multivariable analysis: certain regions (Southern Asia, South-Eastern Asia, and Eastern Africa), female gender, young age, and long travel duration. Conclusions: Despite proper preventive measures like vaccinations, malaria prophylaxis, and travel advice, the majority of our subjects fell ill during or after travel. As the symptoms mostly remained mild, health care services were seldom needed. Typical traveler profiles were identified, thereby providing a tool for pre-travel advice. The finding that one third reported new-onset illness during follow-up attests to the importance of advising clients on potential post-travel health problems already during pre-travel visits.
  • Lääveri, Tinja; Pakkanen, Sari H.; Kirveskari, Juha; Kantele, Anu (2018)
    AbstractBackground Travellers' diarrhoea (TD) is a common health problem among visitors to the (sub)tropics. Much research deals with aetiology, prevention, and post-infection sequalae, yet the data may not allow comparisons due to incompatible definitions of TD and No TD control groups. Method The impact of defining TD and No TD control groups was explored by revisiting our recent data. We set up two TD groups: classical TD i.e. ≥3 loose or liquid stools/day and WHO TD (diarrhoea as defined by the WHO) i.e. any diarrhoea, and four No TD groups by TD definition and timing (no classical/WHO TD during travel, no ongoing classical/WHO TD). Results TD was recorded for 37% versus 65% of subjects when using classical versus WHO definitions, respectively; the proportions of the various pathogens proved similar. The strictest criterion for the No TD control group (no WHO TD during travel) yielded pathogens among 61% and the least strict (no ongoing classical TD) among 73% of the travellers; the differences were greatest for enteroaggregative Escherichia coli and Campylobacter. Conclusions Definition of TD and control group design substantially impact on TD study results. The WHO definition yields more cases, but the pathogen selection is similar by both definitions. Design of the No TD control group was found critical: only those remaining asymptomatic throughout the journey should be included.