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Dtsch Arztebl Int ; (Forthcoming)2022 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1809328


BACKGROUND: It is predicted that approximately two billion tourist trips to foreign countries will be taken worldwide each year by 2030. Germany has long been among the most active countries in tourism. The frequency of illness among persons returning from developing and newly industrialized countries is 43-79%. The appropriate diagnosis of fever in returning travelers is a clinically important matter, as it can be a sign of a life-threatening illness. METHODS: This review is based on publications (2001-2022) retrieved by a selective search in PubMed for studies on the epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of febrile illnesses in returning travelers, or on specific tropical diseases. RESULTS: Diarrhea, fever, and skin changes are the most common manifestations of disease after travel to tropical and subtropical areas. The diagnostic evaluation should be performed in a series of steps, beginning with a precise travel history and the identification of specific risk factors. Among travelers returning from sub-Saharan Africa, Plasmodium falciparum malaria is the most common cause of fever on presentation to centers for infectious diseases and tropical medicine, affecting approximately 50 per 1000 travelers. Among persons returning from travel to Southeast Asia, dengue fever is the most common infectious disease, affecting 50-160 per 1000 travelers. Further potentially dangerous diseases include chikungunya and zika fever, typhoid and paratyphoid fever, amoebic liver abscess, visceral leishmaniasis (kala-azar), leptospirosis, and, very rarely, imported cases of viral hemorrhagic fever. COVID-19 and influenza are important differential diagnoses. CONCLUSION: The differential diagnosis can be narrowed by thorough history-taking with particular attention to the patient's travel route, combined with a good knowledge of the geographic spread and incubation times of the main tropical diseases. Algorithms help clinicians to focus the diagnostic work-up and select the appropriate further laboratory tests and diagnostic procedures.

Am J Infect Control ; 2022 Feb 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676378


BACKGROUND: Rectal swabs are well-implemented screening tools for multidrug-resistant bacteria (MDRB). Since certified swabs such as the Copan eSwab system experienced a delivery bottleneck during the COVID-19 pandemic, commercially available alternatives such as commonly used double-tipped cotton swabs had to be investigated, especially considering their similarity to professional cotton swabs for microbiological purposes. METHODS: Diagnostic properties of commercial cotton swabs (comparable to Q-tips) and Copan eSwabs were qualitatively compared in a prospective single-center study using microbiological standard cultures and PCR methods for the detection of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE). RESULTS: A total of 196 swab pairs were collected from 164 participants. MDRB were detected in 36 of 164 cases (22%). There were neither false-negative nor false-positive results using commercial cotton swabs. In 8 of 196 samples (4.1%) MDRB species were detected only by using cotton swabs, including vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus faecium, OXA-48 producing Escherichia coli, ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae and ESBL-producing Escherichia coli. DISCUSSION: Commercial cotton swabs turned out to be a reliable alternative to Copan eSwabs. For practical use as a screening tool, relevant storage- and manufacturer-related contamination must be ruled out beforehand. CONCLUSIONS: Commonly available double-tipped cotton swabs can be used for rectal MDRB screening in the event of supply shortages of certified swabs. Further studies should clarify their suitability as a sampling system for nasopharyngeal MRSA carriage or even for the molecular biological detection of SARS-CoV-2.

Internist (Berl) ; 62(12): 1295-1309, 2021 Dec.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1562463


Vaccination is considered one of the most important achievements of modern medicine and has saved millions of lives. As a result, the age-old fear of severe or fatal infectious diseases has largely been forgotten in society; however, the pandemic triggered by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) shows how quickly this fear can return. Also, many people have reservations about medical measures, especially if they are directed against vague dangers. Paradoxically, the success of vaccinations jeopardizes the acceptance. To counteract this development, this article provides information on basic vaccination principles, legal frameworks and components of vaccines. It explains the most important categories, goals, core elements of vaccination programs and the most important recommendations of the Standing Committee on Vaccination at the Robert Koch Institute (STIKO). It explains the current state of knowledge with respect to required resources, assessment of vaccine reactions, complication management and possible vaccine damage.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Vaccination
Der Internist ; : 1-15, 2021.
Article in German | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1490260


Impfungen gelten als eine der wichtigsten Errungenschaften der modernen Medizin und haben Millionen Menschenleben gerettet. Im Zuge dessen ist die Angst vor schweren Infektionskrankheiten in unserer Gesellschaft weitgehend in Vergessenheit geraten. Die SARS-CoV-2-Pandemie zeigt jedoch, wie schnell dieses Angstgefühl zurückkehren kann. Gleichzeitig hegen viele Menschen Vorbehalte gegenüber medizinischen Maßnahmen, insbesondere wenn sich diese gegen mehr oder weniger abstrakte Gefahren richten. Paradoxerweise gefährdet der Erfolg von Impfungen somit deren Akzeptanz. Um dem entgegenzuwirken, informiert dieser Beitrag über Impfprinzipien, rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen und Impfkomponenten. Er erklärt die wichtigsten Impfstoffkategorien, Ziele und Kernelemente von Impfprogrammen sowie die grundlegenden Empfehlungen der Ständigen Impfkommission und erläutert den Wissensstand zu erforderlichen Ressourcen, Einschätzung von Impfreaktionen, Komplikationsmanagement und möglichen Impfschäden.