Fever in a returned traveller

From a public health perspective, a fever in a returned traveller always warrants the question ‘does this patient need to be isolated?’

And more...

This holiday, I hope I was not the only one noticing that my entire social media feed had been flooded with pictures of friends and family making the most of their free time. Pictures of REAL aeroplanes, and videos of lands of endless sunshine/ locations far far away from Melbourne’s torrential rain appeared at every click. 

However, as borders open up and travel becomes all the rage, we will also need to be on the lookout for infectious diseases that try and hitch a ride back.

This article aims to explore the standard procedure when faced with the presentation of:
fever in a returned traveller.

Every presentation must begin with a history. Ideally, the patient has come to seek out medical attention as soon as they have noticed a divergence from their usual health. When they arrive upon your doorstep, the usual WWQQAAB must be supplemented with a more detailed travel history. 

Important questions include:

Extra note:

  • Level 1 – Watch, involves practising standard precautions. Currently on the level 1 watch list are regions where rabies, ebola, cholera, measles, lassa fever, dengue, XDR (extensive drug resistant) typhoid fever and leishmaniasis are endemic. 
  • Level 2 – Alert, recommends enhanced precautions and includes the monkeypox outbreak in England, polio in regions across Asia, eastern Europe and Africa, as well as yellow fever.
  • Level 3 – Warning, advises that all nonessential travel be avoided to these areas. An example of a level 3 area is Venezuela. The ongoing humanitarian crisis has resulted in a health care system breakdown that leaves inadequate healthcare in most of the country, resulting in several large outbreaks of diseases such as measles, diphtheria and malaria

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