Travelers with sickle cell disease.

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2014-09

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common genetic disease among persons with African ancestry. This article provides a background to SCD and reviews many important aspects of travel preparation in this population. METHODS: The medical literature was searched for studies on travel-associated preparedness and complications in individuals with SCD. Topics researched included malaria, bacterial infections, vaccinations, dehydration, altitude, air travel, and travel preparedness. RESULTS: There is very little published literature that specifically addresses the risks faced by travelers with SCD. Rates of medical complications during travel appear to be high. There is a body of literature that describes complications of SCD in indigenous populations, particularly within Africa. The generalizability of these data to a traveler is uncertain. Combining these sources of data and the broader medical literature, we address major travel-related questions that may face a provider preparing an individual with SCD for safe travel. CONCLUSIONS: Travelers with SCD face considerable medical risks when traveling to developing tropical countries, including malaria, bacterial infections, hypovolemia, and sickle cell-associated vaso-occlusive crises. For individuals with SCD, frank counseling about the risks, vigilant preventative measures, and contingency planning for illness while abroad are necessary aspects of the pre-travel visit.

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10.1111/jtm.12142

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Willen, Shaina M, Courtney D Thornburg and Paul M Lantos (2014). Travelers with sickle cell disease. J Travel Med, 21(5). pp. 332–339. 10.1111/jtm.12142 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13963.

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Scholars@Duke

Lantos

Paul Michael Lantos

Professor of Medicine

I am interested in the spatial epidemiology of infectious diseases. My research utilizes geographic information systems (GIS) and geostatistical analyses to understand the spatial and spatiotemporal distribution of diseases, and their relationship with environmental and demographic factors. I currently have active studies evaluating the spatial distribution of numerous domestic and international infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), cytomegalovirus, influenza, and Lyme disease. Additionally I am interested in maternal-child health, and I have a number of ongoing studies of neighborhood health disparities in obstetrical care and birth outcomes. I am interested in GIS education and have conducted workshops on public health GIS in Mongolia and China.


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