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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

BU Finds Pre-Planning, Travel Histories Important for Children

Children travelling abroad are potentially exposed to a wide spectrum of illnesses, and a detailed travel history is important in those presenting to emergency rooms with symptoms suggesting infectious disease, according to a new study co-authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.

Writing in the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, a research team that includes Dr. David Hamer, professor of global health at BUSPH and of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, recommended that pre-travel health clinicians tailor advice to children and families to focus on the prevention of frequently occurring illnesses such as travelers’ diarrhea and less common but severe infections such as malaria, hepatitis A, and typhoid fever. Dr. Hamer is the principal investigator on GeoSentinel, a multi-country network studying travel-related illnesses.

“This study shows that it is not always an exotic diagnosis, such as dengue or tuberculosis, which may lead to hospitalization of a child returning from international travel,” the authors wrote. “Often, in a child, it is travelers’ diarrhea that may require hospitalization, and this can be contracted at all travel destinations.”

To read more about the study, go to: