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Respiratory illnesses and dog bites a concern for travelers to China for 2008 Olympics
Date:7/30/2008

As 600,000 visitors and athletes gear up to travel to China for the 2008 Olympic Games, travelers should be most concerned about respiratory illnesses and dog bites, according to report by an Emory University travelers' health expert, her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and around the globe.

Dog bites in humans can lead to human rabies. The report finds that respiratory illnesses and dog bites are more common than contracting exotic diseases. Other common ailments seen while traveling in China were diarrhea, sprains and strains, and skin conditions such as eczema and insect stings.

The report, published in the July issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, gives vital information to help travelers plan their trips to the 2008 Olympics in Beijing next month. It also assists travel medicine experts and clinics around the world to better advise their patients about prevention during pre-travel visits and consultations.

"People tend to let their guard down and not use common sense while traveling, many times not considering they may be putting their health at risk," says Phyllis Kozarsky, MD, professor of medicine (infectious diseases) at Emory University School of Medicine, and medical director of TravelWell, a pre- and post-travel clinic based at Emory Crawford Long Hospital. "We advise travelers in our clinic to enjoy themselves while on vacation, but don't throw caution to the wind."

The report analyzed health outcomes associated with travel over the past 10 years to China and two other regions of Asia Southeast Asia and India. The data were collected by more than 40 tropical medicine clinics worldwide, all part of the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network. The surveillance network, founded by the International Society of Travel Medicine and supported by the CDC, records health trends associated with travel to foreign destinations. TravelWell is one of the clinics
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Contact: Janet Christenbury
jmchris@emory.edu
404-727-8599
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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