With increasing tourism, it is important to educate rural mid-west healthcare professionals on travel medicine. This study presents a retrospective review of imported diseases seen at a referral center in rural Missouri.
The authors examined retrospective data on demographic and geographic data of imported infections seen by the infectious diseases clinics and consultation service from 2001–2018.
In total, 64 cases (57.8% male, mean age 38.54 ± 13.14 years) of imported infections were seen between 2001 and 2018. They identified relatively more cases during the shorter 2015–18 study period (18 cases) than the longer previous study period (46 cases from 2001–2014).
Overall, there were 19 different imported infectious diseases from a wide variety of geographical origins. Of the 64 infections, tuberculosis (TB) was most common, followed by malaria (11,17.2%). In 55(85.94%) cases, the most common symptoms were fever(14.9%), chills(8.9%), abdominal pain(7.2%), diarrhea(7.2%), and headache(5.9%).
The authors emphasize the importance of educating rural mid-west healthcare professionals on travel medicine. The current COVID-19 pandemic illustrates the importance of this type of education and data accumulation now and in the future.