Nothdurft, H. D. and Löscher, Thomas
Folgen importierter Tropenkrankheiten in Deutschland.
In: Versicherungsmedizin, Vol. 46, No. 4: pp. 135-137
20-50% of all travellers to tropical and subtropical countries experience health problems during or after travel. Mainly respiratory tract infections or gastrointestinal disorders are predominant. As specific disorders imported from the tropics traveller's diarrhoea is prevailing, however amebic and helminthic infections, hepatitis A, malaria, sexually transmitted diseases as well skin disorders are rather common. Classical tropical diseases such as cholera, sleeping sickness or trachoma play only a very minor role as imported infections. The majority of health impairments during or after travel are uncomplicated or self limiting. However, falciparum malaria, viral hepatitides, typhoid fever, tropical viral infections and infections of the CNS can take a malicious course. Early diagnosis and treatment generally can provide complete cure without sequels. Sequels are most commonly seen following hepatitis B and C as well as HIV infection but also as a result of CNS infections (e.g. encephalitis) and of imported tuberculosis. For medical expert opinion it is essential that sequels were present already during the acute phase of illness. The socio-economical impact of infections imported from the tropics is considerable due to the high morbidity figures. Preventive measures before and after a stay in tropical countries could markedly reduce the health risks involved.