International Society of Travel Medicine
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)

April 2013

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President's Message

From Fiona Genasi, ISTM President

Group Photo
ISTM Executive Board from left to right. Back row: Annelies Wilder-Smith, Alan Magill, David Shlim, David Freedman. Front row: Karin Leder, Diane Nickolson, Fiona Genasi, Lin Chen, Francesco Castelli

I have the great honor and pleasure to announce the newly elected members of the International Society of Travel Medicine Executive Board (EB):

Annelies Wilder-Smith
Annelies Wilder-Smith

President- Elect: Annelies Wilder-Smith, Singapore

Dr. Wilder-Smith is head of the Travellers Health and Vaccination Clinic in Singapore and has been an ISTM member since 2001. She is Special Advisor to the ISTM GeoSentinel® network, an ISTM Executive Board Counsellor, and a member of the Journal of Travel Medicine Editorial Board. She spearheads a multi-project EU dengue research grant that partners with collaborators from around the world. Dr. Wilder-Smith is also currently serving as co-editor of the annual revisions of WHO's "International Travel and Health" (the "Green Book") and has recently served as the President of the Asia Pacific Society of Travel Medicine.

David Hamer
David Hamer

Counsellor: David Hamer, United States of America

Dr. Hamer has been actively engaged in the field of travel medicine since the early 1980s. He is Professor of International Health and Medicine at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. He currently is on temporary leave from his clinical work at Boston Medical Center to serve as Director of Research and Evaluation at the Zambia Center for Applied Health Research and Development in Lusaka, Zambia. An ISTM member since 1993, Dr. Hamer is currently Chair of the Research and Awards Committee, an ISTM GeoSentinel® member, and a long-standing member of the Examination Committee. He has served in the past on the Finance, Membership, and Professional Affairs Committees. Dr. Hamer is also a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Travel Medicine.

Marc Mendelson
Marc Mendelson

Counsellor: Marc Mendelson, South Africa

Dr. Mendelson, an ISTM member since 2009, is Principal Specialist and Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and HIV Medicine and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, at University of Cape Town, South Africa). He is an ISTM GeoSentinel® Site Director, Head of GeoSentinel® Publications Committee, and an Associate Editor for the Journal. Dr. Mendelson is also President of the Federation of Infectious Diseases Societies of Southern Africa, co-chair of the South African Antibiotic Stewardship Programme and a member of the World Health Organization Influenza Advisory Group.

These three new EB members will begin their time in office at the conclusion of the upcoming CISTM13 in Maastricht. Also formally beginning in his office as Secretary-Treasurer at this same time will be Peter A. Leggat of Australia. Dr. Leggat has already been preparing for his new role in ISTM by shadowing the current Secretary-Treasurer, David Freedman. The Executive Board Members for the next two years will be:
    David R. Shlim, President - United States
    Annelies Wilder-Smith, President Elect - Singapore
    Fiona Genasi, Immediate Past President - United Kingdom
    Peter A. Leggat, Secretary-Treasurer - Australia*
    Francesco Castelli, Counsellor - Italy
    David Hamer, Counsellor - United States
    Karin Leder, Counsellor - Australia
    Marc Mendelson, Counsellor - South Africa
    (*Non-voting member)

Fiona Genasi


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From the Editor

Christopher Van Tilburg
Christopher Van Tilburg

I have not looked to a medical conference with so much anticipation for a long time. It's not just the homeland of my forefathers: I last visited Tilburg 1988 as a premed student. It's not just the fabulous tulips fields that will be in full bloom. It's not just the opportunity to ride the cobbled streets of the legendary Spring Classics cycling races. I'm most looking forward to the camaraderie, brilliant presentations and networking amongst world-renown experts. This issue gives you a taste of the happenings and links to the full program: from interest groups to special courses, social events and small group workshops, and plenary presentations delivering cutting edge concepts and time-tested advice.

Thanks to Deb Stoner who interviewed Mary Wilson, who had the grueling task of putting together the puzzle of the program. Thanks to Nancy Pietroski who gives a glimpse of the list serve. Now, I'm looking forward to seeing all of you, catching up with friends and making many new ones in Maastricht. No it's not too late to come! I hope to see you all in Maastricht.

Christopher Van Tilburg, MD
Editor, ISTM NewsShare


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News from the Secretariat

Diane Nickolson
Diane Nickolson

We are delighted to present the CISTM13 Scientific Program and Schedule. The program details are listed on the website showing the session titles and confirmed speakers. The complete schedule is downloadable in PDF format in our "Program at a Glance". Please note the program is still subject to change.

The program is packed with many outstanding scientific sessions that will be presented by expert speakers from around the world. The program will be updated as needed as the CISTM13 approaches, so check back often.

Don't miss the ISTM Membership Assembly, scheduled for Wednesday 17.15 at the Maastricht Exhibition & Conference Center. The Assembly occurs at each CISTM, and the discussions include reports from ISTM committees on their activities, presentation of the newly-elected President and Counsellors, awards presentation and an address from the President-Elect, David Shlim. The Assembly will conclude with a Members Cocktail Reception, where you will have the opportunity to meet and greet the newly elected board members, and our newly appointed Secretary-Treasurer, Peter Leggat. Be sure to include the ISTM Membership Assembly in your plans during CISTM13 in May.


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CISTM13 Scientific Program Committee: A Visit with Mary Wilson

Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson

NewsShare Deputy Editor Deb Stoner, MD, caught up with CISTM13 chair Mary Wilson to discuss the upcoming conference in Maastricht.

What were the challenges associated with developing a curriculum to meet the worldwide audience?
We have members who have been practicing travel medicine more than 20 years along with those who are just entering the field. Our membership is diverse geographically, professionally and in areas of travel medicine interest. In developing the program we worked to balance the needs and preferences of all constituencies and to make certain we have women well represented in highly visible speaking slots.

What educational goals are you intending to accomplish this year during CISTM13?
I aimed to reinforce the basics of travel medicine, provide new research results and novel ideas, explore controversial issues, create an environment for discussion across disciplines, link participants to each other and provide new resources that will allow them to continue to learn and exchange ideas. We want to give voice to the younger members of ISTM and encourage them to become active members.

What's new and exciting at Maastricht?
One plenary session will be devoted to Mass Gatherings. We will hear new data about vaccines and changes in vector borne infections. The Free Communication sessions allow presentation of new results on a wide range of topics. Late Breaker sessions will include talks on Sarcocystosis, an infection unfamiliar to many who practice travel medicine.

CISTM13 Scientific Program Committee Meeting

Committee Meeting
Pictured from left to right: Peter A. Leggat, Fiona Genasi, Chris Greenaway, Gerard Sonder (in back) Blaise Genton, Diane Nickolson, Mary E. Wilson, Leo G. Visser (on the computer screen!) and David O. Freedman.


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Research and Travel Awards Update

David Hamer
David Hamer

In response to the call for research proposals, we received 17 proposals. Many of these were high quality, small scale research proposals. These have been scored by members of the committee and have been narrowed down to four finalists. The winners of the research awards will be announced at CISTM13 in Maastricht.

The committee also has received 24 travel awards from 22 applicants (two people submitted two abstracts). These represent potential ISTM participants from a range of countries in Latin America, North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia. Review of the travel award applications is ongoing.


CTH® Exam Registration Extended!

Kenneth R. Dardick
Kenneth R. Dardick

The Certificate in Travel HealthTM or CTH® is the global standard for credentialing travel medicine providers, open to nurses, doctors and allied health providers. The online registration for CTH® Exam has been extended until Sunday, 14 April 2013. No late registrations can be accepted. The Exam will be held at the Maastricht Exhibition and Conference Center (MECC) on Sunday morning, 19 May 2013, immediately prior to the opening of the 13th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine. If you plan to sit for the exam in 2013, please be sure to review the Candidate Bulletin for registration information, costs, and sample questions.

Professionals passing the exam will be granted a Certificate in Travel HealthTM or CTH®. As an additional benefit, ISTM members who receive the certificate will be given special recognition in the ISTM Global Travel Clinic Directory, located on the ISTM main web page


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Travel Medicine Update and Review Course

Elizabeth Barnett
Elizabeth Barnett

Excellent Turn-out for the 2013 ISTM Review Course
Almost 200 healthcare professionals recently attended the 2013 Travel Medicine Update and Review Course, held in Toronto, Canada. Participants came from as far away as Belgium, Switzerland and Mexico, though over two thirds of the attendees were from Canada. Almost a quarter of the Canadian attendees were pharmacists. Held on the University of Toronto campus, the Course featured an exceptional faculty who covered topics ranging from the basics of travel immunizations and malaria prevention to information for long term, business and wilderness travelers.


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Destination Communities Support Interest Group (DCSIG) Pre-CISTM13 Course Announced

Irmgard Bauer
Irmgard Bauer

The DCSIG will be holding one of two pre-CISTM13 Courses at the MECC on Sunday, 19 May 2013 from 14.00 to 16.30. You must sign up for one of the pre-Congress courses in advance through your registration account.

Responsible Travel: A Travel Health Concern?
Within the field of travel medicine, the focus for health care has predominantly been on the traveler, with minimal attention given to the effect that the ever expanding tourism business can have on the health and well-being of the host communities. This symposium brings together three diverse topics and explores issues which are not commonly addressed by the ISTM. To stimulate debate and discussion, the 3 short talks will be followed by an interactive session when members will be encouraged to share experiences, concerns or opinions. The first two speakers will address the direct impact of travel on host communities, providing a general overview and also an explanation of problems experienced by a specific community in the Philippines. The third presentation introduces the problems faced by maritime travelers and the psychological trauma of piracy.

Exploited Hosts: A Challenge for Responsible Travel?
Irmgard Bauer, Australia

Environmental Degradation, Cultural Pressures and Displacement
Peter de Beer, The Netherlands

The Impact of Piracy
Nebojša Nikolic, Croatia

DCSIG New Council Members Elected
The Destination Communities Support Interest Group just completed elections for the 2013-2015 term. "Thank you' to all who participated in the election process! The 2013-2015 ISTM DCSIG Council Members are:
   Sheila Hall, Chair, United Kingdom
   Garth Brink, Past Chair, South Africa
   Irmgard Bauer Member, Australia
   Santanu Chattrjee, Member, India
   Martin Haditsch, Member, Austria and Germany
   Susanna Maybin, Member, United Kingdom


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Pediatric Interest Group - Growing Up

Fischer, Philip R. , M.D
Fischer, Philip R. , M.D

Now in its fourth year, the ISTM's Pediatric Interest Group is coming of age. We now have approximately 300 members. The annotated bibliography of pediatric-relevant travel articles is kept updated on the ISTM website. And, the group has participated in research - the group's first abstract was prompted by a survey of the interest group and will be presented in Maastricht - "Preparing Children for Travel to Developing Countries: A Survey of ISTM Pediatric Interest Group Members." Also in Maastricht, there will be several pediatric travel-specific sessions. See you there!


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Psychological Health of Travelers Interest Group

Tom Valk
Tom Valk

The Psychological Health of Travelers Interest Group will be holding one of two pre-CISTM13 Courses at the MECC on Sunday, 19 May 2013 from 14.00 to 16.30. You must sign up for one of the pre-Congress courses in advance through your registration account.

Psychological Issues in International Travel: All You Need to Know
Several, core psychological and psychiatric issues face international travelers, including psychiatric disorders likely to cause problems in the international setting, culture shock in expatriate families, addiction problems, psychotropic medication availability and reactions to traumatic experiences overseas. However, many practitioners of travel medicine are either not aware of these issues and/or do not cover them adequately in their day-to-day travel medicine practices. This course will instruct attendees about these basic issues and how they can easily change their practices to cover them.

The course will cover the principle psychological and psychiatric issues encountered in the international traveler and will emphasize how the travel medicine practitioner can address these issues in the pre-departure and returning traveler contexts.

   Patricia D'Ardenne, United Kingdom
   Ted Lankester, United Kingdom
   Thomas Valk, United States of America


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NewsShare Travel Talk

What's new on the ISTM ListServe

The Topic Whether to wear masks when traveling (especially in urban China)

Key Words: respiratory protection

The Talk: The ISTM Lister has a question posted on whether masks should be brought by travelers to China: do they prevent illness or respiratory distress, can they be reused, and can it be a simple surgical mask or should be it an N95 mask. One responder wrote that his standard recommendation is that the use of masks in urban/industrial areas is not a bad idea and travelers should bring some with them. One response suggested that surgical masks can protect against infections like many respiratory viruses which are transmitted by large droplets while N95 masks, if fitted and worn properly, can protect against infections like TB, measles and varicella that are transmitted by droplet nuclei. Another responder cautioned that surgical masks only protect others from those who are wearing them and travelers should wear N95 masks to protect themselves. Surgical masks were felt to be a placebo by one person. With regard to pollutants (such as carbon monoxide and lead), one response suggested that surgical masks are probably fine for large particulates, but potential exposure to volatile organic compounds would need a respirator with activated charcoal filter or another type of mask intended for that purpose.