Travel medicine resources for Canadian practitioners - CCDR: Volume 41-05, May 7, 2015


Canada Communicable Disease Report CCDR
ISSN 1481-8531 (On-line)

Travel medicine resources for Canadian practitioners

Teitelbaum PFootnote i on behalf of the Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT)Footnote ii

Abstract

Objective: To provide travel medicine practitioners with a comprehensive (though not exhaustive) list of resources. Resources that appear to be most frequently used by health professionals currently practising this specialty have been included.

Methods: Select members of TravelMed, an international e-mail discussion forum for travel medicine practitioners were informally canvassed and presented with a question regarding which travel medicine resources they find to be most useful. Their responses informed the development of this Statement. In addition, the opinions of experts in travel medicine were solicited to identify resources. The scope was international; however, particular attention was given to Canadian sources of information.

Results: Travel medicine resources are listed and organized into the following categories: Courses, conferences and local travel medicine groups; Books; Canadian recommendations; Handbooks; periodicals and reports; Journals; Internet medicine forums; Online subscription services; Outbreak reports and travel advisories; Sources of malaria recommendations; More useful websites; Travel medicine clinics in Canada and abroad; and Certification.

Conclusion: There are many Canadian and international resources available to inform Canadian travel medicine practitioners.

Preamble

The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) provides the Public Health Agency of Canada with ongoing and timely medical, scientific and public health advice relating to tropical infectious disease and health risks associated with international travel. The Agency acknowledges that the advice and recommendations set out in this statement are based upon the best current available scientific knowledge and medical practices and is disseminating this document for information purposes to both travellers and the medical community caring for travellers.

Persons administering or using drugs, vaccines, or other products should also be aware of the contents of the product monograph(s) or other similarly approved standards or instructions for use. Recommendations for use and other information set out herein may differ from that set out in the product monograph(s) or other similarly approved standards or instructions for use by the licensed manufacturer(s). Manufacturers have sought approval and provided evidence as to the safety and efficacy of their products only when used in accordance with the product monographs or other similarly approved standards or instructions for use.

Introduction

The goal of this document is to provide both the novice and the experienced travel medicine practitioner with a comprehensive (though not exhaustive) list of resources. Resources that appear to be most used by health professionals currently practising this specialty have been included. Select members of TravelMed, an international e-mail discussion forum for travel medicine practitioners, were informally canvassed and presented with a question regarding which travel medicine resources they find to be the most useful. Their responses informed the development of this Statement. In addition, the opinions of experts in travel medicine were solicited to identify resources.

The scope was international; however, particular attention was paid to Canadian sources of information. These are often more accessible to Canadian practitioners and reflect practice in this country.

Travel and tropical medicine frequently overlap. The intent of this document is to focus on travel medicine. Tropical medicine resources are cited mainly when they regularly include travel medicine material.

Categories of resource

1. Courses, conferences and local travel medicine groups

Canada
International

2. Books

Travel medicine
  • Keystone JS, Freedman DO, Kozarsky PE, Connor BA, Northdruft HD. Travel medicine, 3rd ed. Philadelphia (PA): Saunders Elsevier Inc.; 2013.
  • Weiss EA. Wilderness and travel medicine: A comprehensive guide, 4th ed. Seattle, (WA): The Mountaineers Books; 2012.
  • Zuckerman JN. Principles and practice of travel medicine, 2nd ed. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell; 2013.
Vaccines
  • Plotkin SA, Orenstein WA, Offit PA. Vaccines, 6th ed. China: Saunders, Elsevier Inc.; 2013.
  • Zuckerman JN, Jong EC. Travelers’ Vaccines, 2nd ed. Shelton (CT): People’s Medical Publishing House – USA; 2010.
Travellers’ diarrhea
  • Ericsson C, DuPont H, Steffen R. Travelers’ diarrhea, 2nd ed. Hamilton (ON): BC Decker Inc.; 2008.
Tropical disease
  • Farrar J, Hotez PJ, Junghanss T, Kang G, Lalloo D, White N. Manson’s tropical diseases, 23rd ed. China: Saunders Elsevier Inc.; 2014.
  • Guerrant RL, Walker DH, Weller PF. Tropical infectious diseases: Principles, pathogens and practice, 3rd ed. Philadelphia (PA): Saunders Elsevier Inc.; 2011.
  • Magill AJ, Ryan ET, Hill D, Solomon T. Hunter’s tropical medicine and emerging infectious diseases, 9th ed. China: Saunders Elsevier Inc.; 2013.
  • Schwartz E. Tropical diseases in travelers. Singapore: Blackwell Publishing; 2009.
Other
  • Auerbach PS. Wilderness medicine, 6th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Mosby Elsevier Inc.; 2012.
  • Heymann DL. Control of communicable diseases manual, 20th ed. Washington (DC): American Public Health Association; 2014.
  • All travel health professionals should have access to a good atlas. Ideally, an atlas will show the states/provinces in most countries, since many malaria recommendations name these specifically. Topography should also be shown so that altitude information is obtainable.

3. Canadian recommendations

  • Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT): The external advisory committee of the Public Health Agency of Canada develops recommendation statements on a wide array of travel medicine topics.
  • Canadian Immunization Guide: Developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, using National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) recommendations and guidelines for all vaccines licensed for use in Canada. It deals comprehensively with problematic situations such as immunizing immunosuppressed travellers.

4. Handbooks, periodicals and reports

5. Journals

Journals devoted to travel medicine
Journals that sometimes include travel medicine content

Other major medical journals will occasionally include travel medicine content (e.g., NEJM, JAMA, etc.).

6. Internet travel medicine forums

  • TravelMed: International travel medicine e-mail discussion forum, open to members of the International Society of Travel Medicine.

7. Online subscription services

These programs/services provide detailed assistance for any itinerary. The user inputs itinerary and traveller information. The program displays its recommendations regarding immunizations, malaria prophylaxis and advice. Generally, these resources can be very helpful for less-experienced practitioners.

  • Gideon: Primarily a tropical and infectious disease diagnostic program but includes detailed epidemiologic information on travel-related diseases. US $995* per year for individual subscription.
  • Sitata: An online service for travellers and travel medicine clinics, US $540* per year.
  • TravaxShoreland: A popular source of travel medicine information, US $895*per year for single clinic license.
  • TRAVAX (United Kingdom): Price available on request of application to TRAVAX.
  • Tropimed: US $219 per year (at time of publication).

8. Outbreak reports and travel advisories

It is highly recommended that practitioners stay current regarding disease outbreaks of importance to travellers. The following sources provide up-to-date information that can be used in this regard.

  • Disease Outbreak News: WHO, Global Alert and Response.
  • GeoSentinel: A worldwide data collection and communication network associated with the International Society of Travel Medicine and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Government of Canada Travel News and Advisories - highlights the latest updates on threats and conditions considered unsafe for Canadians around the world.
  • Government of Canada Travel Health Advisories - outlines potential risks to Canadian travellers and to the Canadian public, and recommends measures that can be taken to reduce these risks.
  • Global Polio Eradication Initiative: Polio updates, WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International and CDC.
  • Healthmap: A map-based reporting system for outbreaks.
  • Meningitis Vaccine Project: Meningococcal meningitis updates, WHO.
  • ProMED: At this time perhaps the most frequently used disease outbreak e-mail service. Past outbreak reports are available on the ProMED website. These reports are timely, though may not always be confirmed.
  • Weekly Epidemiological Record: WHO, outbreak reports.
  • Several of the online subscription services listed above provide regular disease outbreak and security reports.

9. Sources of malaria recommendations

Links to Canadian guidelines are presented here. Included as well are those of several other jurisdictions. Recommendations regarding the need for chemoprophylaxis can vary widely. Familiarity with a broad set of national guidelines can provide practitioners with a wider perspective for developing recommendations and advice, in particular for itineraries associated with a “low” risk of malaria.

Canadian
  • Canada, 2014: Travellers, Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel.
  • Québec, 2013: Guide d'intervention en santé-voyage, published by the Institut national de santé publique du Québec.
European
International
United States

10. More useful websites

11. Travel medicine clinics in Canada and abroad

12. Certification

Conclusion

There are many Canadian and international resources available to inform Canadian travel medicine practitioners.

Acknowledgements

This Statement was prepared by Dr. P. Teitelbaum and approved by CATMAT. CATMAT acknowledges and appreciates the contribution of Kelsie Jagt, Jennifer Cutler and Maggie Bryson.

CATMAT Members: McCarthy A (Chairperson), Boggild A, Brophy J, Bui C, Crockett M, Greenaway C, Libman M, Teitelbaum P, Vaughan S.

Liaison Members: Gershman M (US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention), Pernica J (Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease Canada).

Ex-officio Members: Marion M (Canadian Forces Health Services Centre, Department of National Defence), McDonald P (Division of Anti-Infective Drugs, Health Canada), Schofield S (Directorate of Force Health Protection, Department of National Defence) and Tepper M (Directorate of Force Health Protection, Department of National Defence).

Conflict of interest

None

Funding

This work was support by the Public Health Agency of Canada.

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