Travelling for work—seeking advice in South Africa

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  • A. Passantinoa,, D. Macra,b, F. Fotia, P. Coluccioa,F. Marinoa

    ARTICLE IN PRESS

    Abstracts 409P15Travelling for workseeking advice in South Africa

    M.H. Rossa,b,, D. Kielkowskib,c, A. de Freyb,d,G. Brinkd

    aDe Beers Group Services (Pty) Ltd, South AfricabUniversity of the Witwatersrand, South AfricacNational Institute for Occupational Health, SouthAfricadSouth African Society of Travel Medicine, SouthAfrica

    Introduction: Sub Saharan Africa, a very high-risk destina-tion for travellers, is an important destination for SouthAfrican workers. The concomitant occupational exposure toinfectious diseases raises concern about the adequate risk-related preparation of business travellers, particularly thosemoving to remote areas. Occupational health practitionersin South Africa are concerned about expatriates whose last-minute consultation pattern may preclude adequatedisease prevention and appropriate preparation for travel.The South African Society of Travel Medicine established anational sentinel surveillance system and, with the NationalInstitute for Occupational Health, investigated the pre-travel consultation patterns in business travellers.Methods: A retrospective study was conducted on records of20 000 travellers attending 24 sentinel general and travelmedicine practices in main South African centres fromJanuary 2005 to December 2006. Reason for travel,destination, and the time between consultation anddeparture were collated. Data were analysed using STATA.Results: Business travellers comprised 42% of the tra-vellers consulting clinics and had a mean consultation todeparture period of 15.2 days. Over half the businesstravellers (54%) consult less than a week before departure,while 92% consult less than a month before departure. Othercountries in Africa are the destination for 73% of businesstravellers.Discussion: This is the first national surveillance of SouthAfrican corporate and leisure travellers seeking traveladvice. Since Africa is the destination for most businesstravellers consulting travel medicine clinics in South Africa,the period of consultation prior to departure is of particularconcern with regard to malaria prophylaxis and completionof multiple dose vaccine schedules. The findings of thissentinel surveillance indicate the need for detailed compar-ison of time to departure with vaccines and malariaprophylaxis; for targeted advice to the corporate industriesdeploying employees in Africa; and to define acceleratedschedules to maximise protection for the last-minutebusiness traveller.

    KEYWORDSBusiness traveller; Africa; Pre-travel advice; Consultationtiming

    10.1016/j.tmaid.2007.09.029aUniversity of Messina, ItalybIZS della Sicilia-Sez. Palermo, Italy

    Actually in EU there is a significant trade in alienorganisms, mainly fish, as ornamental species. Consideringthe potential role of these animal movements in eliciting thespreading of diseases/zoonoses, it is necessary to limitintroduction of new species and to secure animal health,promoting the application of Code of Practice. Moreover,some bacterial species are considered a potential risk forhuman beings. On the basis of above considerations and of areport of some cases of mycobacteriosis in importedornamental fish in Sicily, the Authors carried out some legalreflections, stressing the following points:

    (i) A list of third countries from which Member States areauthorized to import live fish should be established.

    (ii) It is necessary to lay down specific animal healthconditions and model certificates for those third countries,in order to prevent the introduction of disease agents.Within Europe, the Decision 2003/858/EC and Directive2006/88/EC do not apply to tropical ornamental fish.Individual EU countries do require health certification forimported ornamental fish under the Directive 91/67/EEC.However, there is great variation in policy for importation ofornamental fish between countries within regions. TheRegulation 998/2003/EC on the animal health requirementsapplicable to the non-commercial movement of pet animalsestablishes that these ones must be accompanied by acertificate issued by an official veterinarian attesting tohealth of fish in consignment and that their source was freeof specified disease agents.

    (iii) It is necessary that countries or parts thereof fromwhich Member States are authorized to import live fish mustapply conditions for disease control and monitoring at leastequivalent to Community standards.

    (iv) Sampling and testing methods used for the detec-tion of fish diseases must be in accordance with those laiddown in the OIE Manual of Diagnostic Tests for AquaticAnimals.

    (v) Finally, a public education program on the risksrelated to imported ornamental fish should be implemented.

    KEYWORDSMycobacteriosis; Ornamental fish; Importation; Legislation

    10.1016/j.tmaid.2007.09.030

    P17Prevalence of antibodies against Hepatitis A intravellers over 40 years. A costs analysisP16Importation of mycobacteriosis with ornamental fish:Medico-legal implications

    Prevalence of antibodies against Hepatitis A in travellers over 40 years. A costs analysis