International Society of Travel Medicine
E-mail: ISTM@ISTM.org
Skypename: istm.office
Office hours: Monday - Friday, 9.00 - 17.00 EDT (UTC-04)

Year in Review 2019

President's Message

Lin Chen
Lin Chen,
ISTM President

The first December snow in Boston has ushered in the season of celebrations. Despite the political chaos around the world, I wish you joyous holidays.

I am delighted to announce that the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has approved ISTM to be a liaison organization. This recognizes ISTM to be an organization with keen interest and expertise on immunizations, and to have representation along with other liaison organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Physicians (ACP), the American Medical Association (AMA), the Canadian National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (CNACI), Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS). The Executive Board has appointed Elizabeth Barnett to serve as the ISTM liaison representative. Elizabeth will provide important contributions in this role, based on her service on a number of ACIP Work Groups and as an AAP liaison to ACIP.

I am also thrilled to report that Mary Wilson, an ISTM founding member, received the Ben Kean Medal at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH). This prestigious award, given every 3 years, recognizes a clinician or educator with exceptional dedication to clinical tropical medicine and impact on the training of students, fellows and/or practitioners of tropical medicine. Many ISTM members know that Mary Wilson is an extraordinary teacher and mentor in travel medicine/travellers’ health and she has volunteered tirelessly for ISTM. At the November 2019 ASTMH Meeting, ISTM continued collaborations between the two societies by sponsoring a well-attended symposium. Marty Cetron, Leo Visser, Priscilla Rupali, and Blaise Genton highlighted some key ISTM interests in this symposium: migration health, vaccine immunology and updates, enteric fever epidemiology and antimicrobial resistance, and the malaria mapping project. The GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, a flagship program of ISTM, has undergone restructuring earlier this year. I’m pleased to report that the program is thriving, has received funding for 2019-2020, and has continued to produce valuable analyses based on surveillance data. To continue to innovate, Co-PIs David Hamer and Michael Libman have been working with the leadership team to generate project ideas and to explore further funding opportunities. (See GeoSentinel report)

Finally, ISTM has grown in complexity, with programs and projects that have blossomed and groups that have burgeoned. During this holiday season, I want to express my gratitude to the many ISTM members and leaders who have volunteered precious time and energy to establish the Society with scientific expertise and clinical guidance, and attain high international regard. Sincere thanks to the Chairs of the many Committees, Projects, and Task Forces including Sarah McGuinness, Dipti Patel, Pierre Landry, Sarah Kohl, Gerard Flaherty, Martin Grobusch, Charlie Ericsson, Jeff Goad, Christina Coyle, Sheila Mackell, Nancy Jenks, Christina Greenaway, Francesco Castelli, Blaise Genton, Robert Steffen… who are busy planning many initiatives and programs into 2020-2021. I want to also thank the ISTM Secretariat, under the leadership of Executive Director Diane Nickolson, for their logistical and organizational support towards the continued success of the Society.

Lin Chen,
ISTM President


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Editor's Note

Sandra Grieve
Sandra Grieve,
ISTM Travel Medicine
News Editor

Firstly, a big thank you to Christopher Van Tilburg for his Executive Editor role in previous editions. He’s a hard act to follow but I’ll try my best and am honored to follow him and other distinguished editors.

As I write this in middle England, I am surrounded by floods and without Internet access. Electricity remains, but who knows for how long. Hard to complain when I’m aware that this is normal in many countries our travellers visit.

I live near Stratford-Upon-Avon, founded by the Saxons in the 7th Century AD, granted a Royal Charter in 1553 and home of the English Bard William Shakespeare (1564-1616). Millions of national and international tourists visit the town to see where Will was born and is buried, experience his plays or for scholarly research. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) houses the Shakespeare family archives. We were recently invited behind the scenes for a special viewing. Unsurprisingly I headed to the “travel” section. The SBT has travel materials from all over the world and across six centuries. Shakespeare’s reach is wide. Stories are told through diaries and postcards, many inspiring the settings of Shakespeare’s plays. All handwritten in beautiful script, no internet connection required. Under “modern travel” was Coryat’s Crudities, published by Thomas Coryat in 1611, and regarded as the first English travel guide. He recorded his adventures while walking from England to Italy and back. Published in 1591 was John Florio’s Second Frutes, designed to help English travellers learn Italian through grammar. What would today’s Italians make of, “I am very well. Good Lord what dainty knacks you have here”? Abraham Ortelius, a 16th century cartographer who created the first modern atlas, gives an account of the damage done to the land, people and animals by sea storms and flooding in Denmark. Treatments offered for plague or the “colde” in A Rich Storehouse OR Treasurie for the Diseased, (1612), are gruesome, involving flayed hedgehogs, fleas and snail tea. A journal by 14-year-old William Henry Leigh while travelling in France and Italy in 1835, recorded seeing a “Catholic” Church for the first time, and after visiting the Kings Palace at Fontainebleau, noted, “although magnificent, I don’t think it so fine as Windsor Castle”. (No offence to French colleagues).

A break from Shakespeare offers a visit to Harvard House, home of the maternal grandfather of John Harvard (1607-1638). In 1636 John Harvard founded Harvard University in Massachusetts. What is the take home message? Travel and traveller’s tales aren’t new. People still enjoy adventures, different cultures and food, and recording their stories. The pace of life was slower in Shakespeare’s day, today’s journey times are shorter, but perhaps with the pressures of modern living, much is missed. With today’s technology enabling storage of endless text and photographs, do travellers need to “write” diaries, or is that art already lost? How we view today’s stories tomorrow will be interesting indeed.

We would love to receive diary accounts of travel experiences. Maybe someone is heading to Galway, Ireland, designated the European Capital of Culture 2020? www.galway2020.ie

This is the final edition of 2019. Here you will find, past, present and future updates from the various areas of the society. The Secretariat under the skillful direction of Diane Nickolson, and the dedication of the Leadership Council have our gratitude for making things happen and for keeping us informed.

Greetings of the Festive Season to you all. Thank you.

Sandra Grieve,
ISTM Travel Medicine News Editor


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Secretary-Treasurer's Report

Mike Jones
Mike Jones,
ISTM Secretary-Treasurer

This has been a highly pressured few months with many important issues considered by the Executive Board. A decision has been reached to continue to rent office space. Moving to property purchase offers the best combination of immediate and long-term reduction in annual costs but with the ISTM budget under pressure the finance committee concluded that this was not the time to initiate such a major change.

Peter Leggat, Di Nickolson and I arrived back a few days ago from a visit to three potential European conference sites for CISTM18 in 2023. Planning our Biennial Congresses starts 4 years before the event. Peter will make the recommendation to the Executive Board after we have carefully digested the combination of hotel and convention centre costs. How do we make a decision? We look out for cities that will prove exciting and attractive for delegates, but ISTM cannot afford to make a loss on a conference. Sites that combine a hotel and convention centre often provide an attractive cost package, and cities offer widely varying grant support for conventions. Will the convention centre accommodate a conference for 1500-1800 delegates with enough breakout rooms after plenary sessions? We also look carefully at ease of access for international travellers. Is the local airport an intercontinental hub or does it only receive flights from surrounding countries? Is the transfer from airport to hotels straightforward? In an era where our carbon footprint should concern us all, are there good rail links? By 2023 electric cars will be far more popular. Do hotels and convention centres offer electric charging?

In February the Scientific Programme Committee will meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. With Christina Coyle chairing the SPC, there is an opportunity to build contact with our colleagues in the Peoples Republic of China on the tail end of that committee, and the forthcoming Asia Pacific Conference will be held in Auckland in March.

Warm greetings to all our members for our upcoming seasonal holiday.

Mike Jones,
ISTM Secretary-Treasurer


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ISTM Members in the News

Diane Nickolson
Sandra Grieve,
ISTM Travel Medicine
News Editor

There are many people in our field who could be described as unsung heroes. We could all benefit from sharing and learning about some of the projects that ISTM members are involved in so if you have a story to share please get in touch. Meantime, three stories are worthy of note.

The first is thanks to Julie Bird (NPG), who during a visit to India interviewed Dr Omesh Bharti, recording his story in a blog for the American Travel Health Nurses Association (ATHNA).
https://athnablog.wordpress.com/2019/10/14/blog-32-looking-for-meaning-in-your-work-pick-up-your-own-backyard/

Julie highlights Dr Bharti’s work on rabies, which led to WHO adopting a revised protocol for rabies immunoglobulin (RIG) use. The WHO recommended protocol for rabies Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) required a large amount of RIG which was expensive in India and contributed to the high death rate from rabies. Through concerted effort, and with limited resources, an effective low-cost method to improve access to care was developed.
https://youtu.be/mtYGnRPGWv0
https://ijme.in/articles/using-a-modified-rabies-immunoglobulin-protocol-in-a-crisis-of-unavailability-ethical-and-practical-challenges/?galley=print

Secondly, the story of Nancy Jaax, a US army veterinary pathologist who played a major role in containing an unidentified deadly virus affecting monkeys, subsequently identified as Ebola. The animals, shipped from the Philippines to a lab facility in Reston, were becoming ill and dying from an illness previously undetected in the USA. Scientists, fearing a risk to public health in the event of spread outside the facility, established a protocol to prevent an outbreak. The “Hot Zone” was the subject of a book in 1994 and has been adapted for television on National Geographic.

The third is also an Ebola-related story about Professor Martin Grobusch’s work on a research programme in Sierra Leone. A video account (https://vimeo.com/378803135) of the story is told in a humble and sensitive way. The Ebola outbreak was headline news around the globe. Local people were scattered in their villages and many of those infected died. People were understandably frightened, everyday life came to a halt as schools, universities and markets closed. The Masanga hospital was also closed while Martin and his team offered training to hospital staff, including personal protection methods and triage. Quarantine came into force when cases were notified. The video ends with Martin walking through a graveyard, recording the 28,000 cases and 10,500 deaths caused by the outbreak. Time, resources and prolonged commitment, are necessary to prevent and manage a repeat. www.masangahospital.org/about-masanga/research

video

This is how history is made. These are the remarkable stories of three remarkable people and I’m sure they are not the only ones. Perhaps some of you have others to share with us?

Sandra Grieve,
ISTM Travel Medicine News Editor

 

 


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News from the Secretariat

Diane Nickolson
Diane Nickolson,
ISTM Executive Director

Our ISTM Secretariat team of seven provides support to all the Society and Foundation activities, programs and working groups. Over the 10 years I’ve been with the ISTM, the society has grown significantly, here are some of the most compelling growth numbers...

  • Members From 2511 to 4352
  • Committees From 8 to 13
  • Task Forces From 0 to 4
  • Professional and Interest Groups From 3 to 11
  • Exams From 1 each year, to 3-5 every two years
  • Research From 1 to 3-5 Awards each year

Also, during the past 10 years leaders and staff have worked together to establish the following new programs and activities:

  • an online learning program
  • a continuing professional development program
  • a Fellows program
  • member benefit webinars
  • a member advantage program
  • Challenging Cases series
  • an annual magazine
  • IME satellites at CISTMs and regional conferences
  • expert conferences and summits
  • a Foundation
Jodi Metzgar
Jodi Metzgar,
Deputy Director

Elena Axelrod
Elena Axelrod,
Finance Manager

Kayce Maisel
Kayce Maisel,
Project Lead

Michelle Clark
Michelle Clark,
Meetings and
Travel Coordinator


Whitney Alexander
Whitney Alexander,
Marketing Coordinator

Michelle Haynes
Michelle Haynes,
Membership and
Customer Service
Coordinator

 

This is all in addition to taking on more responsibility for other key projects such as the ISTM Journal, newsletter, online community, social media outreach, our bursary program, and the CISTMs. We have a dedicated, hard-working team in place supporting the ever-growing number of engaged ISTM leaders and activities. Some of our roles have recently changed and I wanted to share the most recent staff responsibilities with you.

Jodi Metzgar, Deputy Director, Hired January of 2015

Staffs all interest and professional groups, the Continuing Professional Development Committee, Research and Awards Committee, various Task Forces, and supports the Exam Committee. Manages the research awards and professional development programs, and supports functions relating to budget development, contract review, negotiations and coordination, financial review and bookkeeper oversight, exam administration and question databank, administrative function oversight, and registration for congresses and courses.

Elena Axelrod, Finance Manager, Hired December of 2002

Manages electronic financial transactions and preliminary reporting, processes and manages accounts receivable and payables, invoicing, reconciliation of financial merchant accounts to database and cash, coordinates monthly reconciliations with bookkeeper, and supports the audit process. Maintains and manages all contract and financial records. Manages the uploading and maintenance of the internal GeoSentinel database, prepares reports and provides oversight of site incentive payments, and performs queries to prepare GeoSentinel data for analysis.

Kayce Maisel, Project Lead, Hired November of 2016

Staffs the Digital Communications Committee, actively coordinating changes and troubleshooting back-door, nonvisual issues on the Society websites and membership database, and supports electronic voting processes. Staff lead for oversight of the migration to a new Society website and new membership portal. Researches,  oversees, populates, and manages Society conference apps; coordinates the accreditation processes; manages on-site audio-visual and technical personnel and logistics, and; populates and manages the use of Audience Response Systems (ARS) and digital membership surveys. Staffs Scientific Program Committees, including those for CISTM, regional, and one-time ISTM conferences. Also staffs the Professional Education Committee for the annual Review Course, development of webinars, online learning programs, and other educational activities, the integration of digital and distance learning options into the ISTM site and its apps. Helps to support the South American Task Force.

Michelle Clark, Meetings and Travel Coordinator; Hired November of 2016

Primarily responsible for the logistical planning and execution of venue logistics for international congresses, courses, conferences, IME satellites, Board meetings, committee and task force meetings, GeoSentinel meetings, the examination, other events and meetings of the Society. Oversees miscellaneous travel bookings, approvals and allocations. Also supports exhibitor activities at CISTMs and events, as well as manages logistics for ISTM expo outreach. Negotiates venue, participates in site selection, and performs financial reviews of event and travel invoicing.

Whitney Alexander, Marketing Coordinator, Hired October of 2017

Primarily responsible for marketing and promoting society membership, programs and products, society communications including the coordination and writing of newsletter and magazine articles and surveys, prepares and distributes promotional materials and supplies, manages printing and distribution processes, coordinates and updates the ‘visual’ websites, manages and conducts social media activities, coordinates external designer work, supports member advantage program, conducts marketing research, drafts analytic reports, promotes sponsorship, sales of exhibition booths and ensures a pleasant expo experience for attendees and exhibitors at society events, coordinates and staffs the society exhibition booths, and manages the annual membership outreach campaigns. Provides staff support to the Publications Committee and supports the Digital Communication Committee on social media matters. Also assists with registration activities, examination applications, and serves as back-up to the Member and Customer Services Coordinator.

Michelle Haynes, Membership and Customer Service Coordinator, Hired September of 2016

Supports and fulfills all member and customer orders, membership application processing and fulfillment, manages the monthly new member mailings, manages the registration processes and fulfillment for ISTM events, issues attendance, membership and certification certificates, processes bank deposits and credit card charges, and staffs events and the ISTM exhibit booths when required. Primarily responsible for responding to member requests and providing first-line customer and member service. Performs basic administrative duties including shipping and receiving, and the organization of Society files and office storage.

On behalf of the ISTM Secretariat, thank you to the leaders, members and others in the travel medicine community with whom we work to support the mission, goals and objectives of the ISTM.

Diane Nickolson,
ISTM Executive Director


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Christina Coyle
Christina Coyle,
Chair,
CISTM17 SPC


Gerard Flaherty
Gerard Flaherty,
Co-Chair,
CISTM17 SPC


Camilla Rothe
Camilla Rothe,
Associate Chair,
CISTM17 SPC


Priscilla Rulpai
Priscilla Rulpai,
Associate Chair,
CISTM17 SPC


Eli Schwartz
Eli Schwartz,
Associate Chair
CISTM17 SPC

 

17th Conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 19-23 May 2021

The Biennial Conferences of the ISTM (CISTMs) have been the premiere opportunity for travel medicine specialists and practitioners to gather and learn about the latest developments in the field. Delegates attend the conference to keep up to date on advances in the science and the art of travel medicine – they also attend the exposition to see new and innovative technologies, products, and services. In the past decade travel medicine has emerged as a distinct multidisciplinary medical specialty involving all travel related aspects of existing medical specialties such as infectious diseases, tropical medicine, gastroenterology, obstetrics and gynecology, occupational medicine, orthopedics, and pediatrics. CISTMs share the advances in the science and art of travel medicine while allowing those new to the field an introduction to this exciting medical discipline.

"The Changing Face of Travel Medicine: Anticipating its Global Impact" has been chosen for the overall theme of the next CISTM in 2021.

Themed subcategories include: Global Impact of Travel (Antimicrobial Resistance, Pollution and environment, Mass gatherings, Cross-border pathogens, Asia Pacific Travel Trends), Healthcare Abroad (Planned care abroad-medical tourism, Traveller’s access to care, Vulnerable traveller/traveller in trouble), Migration and Travel for Work (Global trends, Work force migration, Health related to migration), Travel Medicine and the Travel Industry (Synergy between these two sectors, Responsible practices), Travel Medicine in a Digital World (Cybersecurity in travel, Social Media, The connected traveller-telecommunication and travel, other topics), and the Science of Travel Health (How to Develop a Research Question, Travellers as a Model for Clinical Research, Medical education and training in travel medicine, Diagnostics in Travel Medicine.)

The Scientific Planning Committee has outlined the topics for the next CISTM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 19-23 May 2021.

Abstract submissions will open in 2020 and will be accepted on the following topics:

  • Air Travel
  • Communication and Technology
  • Destination
  • Disaster/Conflicts/Military
  • During Travel
  • Education/Training
  • Emerging Infections
  • Global Travel Trends
  • Impact on Host Country
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Mental Health
  • Migrants
  • Non-Infectious Diseases
  • One Health and Zoonoses
  • Post Travel
  • Pre-Travel prep/advice
  • Special Traveller
  • Traveller’s Diarrhoea
  • Tropical Infectious Diseases
  • Vaccines
 

To stay up-to-date, please visit www.ISTM.org/CISTM17


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GeoSentinel Logo

GeoSentinel Group Photo

Davidson Hamer
David Hamer,
Co-Principal Investigator

Michael Libman
Michael Libman,
Co-Principal Investigator

Kristina Angelo
Kristina Angelo,
CDC Medical Epidemiologist

Vanessa Field
Vanessa Field,
Chair,
Tracking and Communications
Working Group


Phillippe Gautret
Phillippe Gautret,
Chair,
Special Populations
Working Group


Kevin Kain
Kevin Kain,
Chair,
Enhanced Clinical Surveillance
Working Group


Karin Leder
Karin Leder,
Chair,
Data Collection
Working Group


Phyllis E. Kozarsky
Phyllis E. Kozarsky,
Special Advisor
on behalf of the CDC

GeoSentinel has four Working Groups, which have provided updates below.

Enhanced Clinical Surveillance Working Group (ECLIPSE): this group oversees several active network research projects and has made important steps forward in the last quarter. CHIDEZIMA (chikungunya, dengue, Zika and falciparum malaria study) continues to recruit cases and now has several new participating sites. SEVTRAV (study of etiology of fever and severe illness of unknown cause in returned travellers) has evolved into a broader fever etiology study and has received IRB approval at Emory University. Other sites that have expressed interest in participating are working on their ethics committee submissions. The SMART study will examine “severity markers” as novel triage tools to aid in the early identification and triage of severe malaria and other severe infections. The NEURAL study will examine neurocognitive outcome in travellers with malaria. Both studies have received IRB approval at the University of Toronto – UHN.

Data Working Group: Following the departure of the GeoSentinel Data Quality Manager, CDC personnel have agreed to take on this task, as an interim measure, and will audit GeoSentinel data as required. The GeoSentinel User Manual has been updated, and is fully searchable, providing a quick and easy method for Site personnel to answer specific data queries. Data entry site personnel will soon be asked to code “test cases”, as an additional quality assurance task.

Special Populations Working Group: A prospective mass gathering study has been published in Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases. A prospective evaluation of migrant screening and of the effect of the migration process on the overall pattern of diseases among migrants is currently being drafted. Data collection is ongoing for a prospective project on planned and unplanned medical care during travel; an abstract will be presented at the Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference (New Zealand, March 2020). A prospective project on respiratory tract infections in older tourist travellers in relation with vaccination status is ongoing and an assessment of data quality will be conducted at the end of 2019. A feasibility assessment is currently under review for both a retrospective descriptive study on imported Chagas disease cases and a prospective project on Chagas disease screening, disease state, and treatment. Other prospective projects in migrants (schistosomiasis, and strongyloidiasis), and focused studies on student travellers and VFR travellers, are currently under development.

Tracking and Communications Working Group: This group reviews and responds to the daily entry of data by GeoSentinel sites. From Oct-Dec 2019, there were 14 alarming diagnoses reported including a case of Lassa fever ex-Sierra Leone, three cases of East African trypanosomiasis [EAT]-- (two cases ex-Malawi, one case ex-Uganda), three travel-related measles cases (ex-Brazil, ex-Germany, and one unknown exposure country), and one death due to P. falciparum malaria ex-Liberia. Three Alerts were issued; two in relation to the EAT cases and one reporting chikungunya cases ex-Myanmar. The latter resulted in a fast track case series, written in collaboration with TropNet colleagues, and has been submitted for publication. GeoSentinel Alerts are circulated to all GeoSentinel sites and affiliates, as well as TropNet members, and partner agencies. The Tracking and Communications Working Group is also assisting with the GeoSentinel website redesign project.

GeoSentinel Committees

External Collaborations Committee (ECCo)

The newly formed ECCo has now been constituted with a global representation of 9 members. The remit of this group, chaired by Pat Schlagenhauf, is to evaluate requests for the sharing of GeoSentinel data with external organizations. A kick-off teleconference meeting is planned for December 2019.

Publication Committee

The Publications Committee continues to review proposals and optimize processes, and is very close to finalizing a more user-friendly version of the Publications Process document. Thank you to all Network sites for your use of the Proposed Contributions Template at the site solicitation phase! As you recall, this document was finalized following the Site Director’s Meeting in Porto, and has been well received, serving its purpose of tracking and accountability. Recent publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals are listed below.

GeoSentinel Subnetworks

CanTravNet (CTN)

CanTravNet continues to support the Office of Border and Travel Health of the Public Health Agency of Canada in its surveillance mandate. The contract for 2019-2020 is in progress. We welcome Dr. Shaun Morris, MD, from the Hospital for Sick Children (Ontario, Canada) as a new member of CanTravNet, having launched their paediatric GeoSentinel site earlier this year.

EuroTravNet (ETN)

Marta Diaz-Menendez (MDD) and Corneliu Popescu (BUC) have been elected to serve on the EuroTravNet steering committee, replacing Frank Mockenhaupt (BER) and Francesco Castelli (TLY), as of Nov 1, 2019. We thank our colleagues for their valuable contributions to the network.

GeoSentinel Leadership Team

  • David Hamer, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Michael Libman, Co-Principal Investigator
  • Kristina Angelo, CDC Medical Epidemiologist
  • Vanessa Field, Chair, Tracking and Communications Working Group
  • Phillipe Gautret, Chair, Special Populations Working Group
  • Kevin Kain, Chair, Enhanced Clinical Surveillance Working Group (ECLIPSE)
  • Karin Leder, Chair, Data Working Group
  • Phyllis Kozarsky, Special Advisor on behalf of the CDC

GeoSentinel Support Team

  • Aisha Rizwan, Program Manager
  • GeoSentinel Committee Chairs
  • Andrea Boggild, Chair, Publications Committee
  • Pat Schlagenhauf, Chair, External Collaborations Committee (ECCo)

GeoSentinel is always interested in having new ISTM members join them as Affiliate Members. If you are interested in lending your expertise and/or submitting interesting cases, please email the GeoSentinel program manager at: geosentinel@geosentinel.org.

Publications since last Newshare:

Gautret P, Angelo KM, Asgeirsson H, Duvignaud A, van Genderen PJJ, Bottieau E, Chen LH, Parker S, Connor BA, Barnett ED, Libman M, Hamer DH; GeoSentinel Network. International mass gatherings and travel-associated illness: A GeoSentinel cross-sectional, observational study. Travel Med Infect Dis. 2019 Nov 9:101504. doi: 10.1016/j.tmaid.2019.101504.


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Research Awards

Martin Grobusch
Martin Grobusch,
Chair, Research
and Awards Committee
Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson,
Co-Chair, Research
and Awards Committee

Applications for the 2019-2020 ISTM Research Awards are now being accepted through 31 January 2020.

This year, the ISTM Executive Board has again approved the funding for these awards and is continuing the special categories to support the Society Mission and the Presidential Goals.

The 2019-2020 Research Awards that will be available include funding for:

  • Proposals from investigators in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs),
  • ISTM Interest and Professional Group research; and,
  • General travel medicine projects.

Detailed information on proposal criteria as well as application forms can be found on the ISTM Research Awards web page www.istm.org/researchgrantsactivities.

All Research Award proposals must be submitted to the ISTM Secretariat offices at ISTM@ISTM.org no later than 31 January 2020 to be considered.

The Research and Awards Committee commends the 2018-2019 Research Award Winners

  1. Measuring neutralizing antibodies against yellow fever virus ten years after standard (0.5 mL) yellow fever vaccination in elderly population (> 60 years at time of vaccination).
    Anna Roukens, The Netherlands, Principal Investigator
  2. Prospective evaluation of neurocognitive outcome in travellers and migrants presenting with malaria to GeoSentinel Sites.
    Kevin Kain, Canada, Principal Investigator
  3. Concomitant administration of yellow fever vaccine with measles, mumps, rubella vaccine in healthy adults – a multi-center prospective observational study.
    Silja Bühler, Germany, Principal Investigator

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Challenging Cases: Voice Your Opinion

Mary-Louise Scully
Mary-Louise Scully
Nancy Piper Jenks
Nancy Piper Jenks

Thanks to all who submitted responses. Below is the case and the chosen response.

A family with 2 children, age 10 months and 5 years are going to spend 6 weeks in Lagos, Nigeria to visit family. Both children have had routine vaccines. The 5 year old has eczema, peanut allergy, and mild persistent asthma and is on a daily inhaled steroid for control. All travel appropriate vaccines and malaria prophylaxis have been addressed. What specific advice would you give the parents for the child with asthma and allergies and how would you prepare the family?

As a pediatrician and travel medicine provider, I would want to thoroughly explore this child’s history regarding asthma and allergy. Trip preparation for this family necessitates a thorough review to help them anticipate needs they may have away from home. I’d first like to know the circumstances of the peanut allergy and the severity of the reaction. Has the family ever had to use injectable epinephrine? Has the asthma ever required inpatient hospital or ICU treatment? Understanding the asthma triggers and how different environments can exacerbate asthma is an additional part of the discussion.

For a child this age, it is advisable to have a symptom-based asthma action plan which would clearly identify green, yellow and red zones. Children with asthma in the United States typically carry this well-defined printed plan that provides clear instruction on medication dosing, type and frequency related to symptom severity. Asthma action plan forms are available at www.cdc.gov/asthma/actionplan.html. The primary care provider may best assist in this plan preparation.

Parents should carry an adequate supply of all current medications and emergency medications. Carrying bronchodilator and steroid inhalers as well as a course of oral steroids in carry-on luggage should be reviewed. If the child relies often on a nebulizer, portable battery operated machines are available. Given the peanut allergy, I recommend using an antibacterial wipe to wipe down the tray tables and seats/windows where they are sitting on the plane. Notifying the airline ahead of time and carrying an allergy card is advisable. Further resources can be found on www.foodallergy.org and www.allergyasthmanetwork.org/category/travel-tips. Carrying an epinephrine injectable dose for allergy as well as oral antihistamines at all times, including on the plane is essential. Lastly, I would strongly advise purchasing a medical evacuation plan as well as investigating resources for medical care while there, should they be needed.

Sheila Mackell M.D., Arizona, United States of America

In case you missed any of the previous cases, they are available to view on the ISTM website under Educational Cases.

We’d also like to announce that this will be the last case for Challenging Cases in this format i.e. in Travel Medicine News. The original learning format called Expert Opinion (at the dawn of the internet), was later transitioned to Challenging Cases, Voice Your Opinion, and now PEC will be transitioning to a new online episodic learning education format which will allow many more cases with faster feedback on responses.

So stay tuned, as we roll out that exciting program in 2020!


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2019: The Year in Review

Nancy Pietroski
Nancy Pietroski

2019’s Travel Medicine Year in Review captures this year’s ISTM theme: "Building Communities: Not Walls," focusing on the interconnection of ISTM’s community. It builds on a foundation of the most discussed topics of over 300 original posts on the TravelMed forum, associates them with ISTM groups and activities, then to travel medicine-related topics in world news.

The year 2019 was replete with stories about climate disasters as in recent years, paralleling this year’s CISTM16 theme of "Travel Medicine in a Changing Climate." Hurricanes, cyclones, wildfires, heat waves, floods, you name it – the climate is restless. So were humans – political unrest abounded. But there were some positive stories too, such as how scientists helped to expand our consciousness with the first ever images of a black hole.

Yellow Fever

There was feverish discussion around yellow fever vaccine, the most discussed topic on the forum in 2019, with over 80 original posts (and over 200 responses). As in previous years, vaccination for travellers older than 60 generated robust discussion. In related ISTM news, the newly founded Older Traveller Interest Group held its inaugural meeting this year at CISTM16. This group was formed to provide a focus for health issues faced by older travellers. And in world news, Dr. Martin Gore, a renowned oncologist from the UK, died at the age of 67 after a serious adverse reaction to yellow fever vaccine.
www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2819%2930645-2

Malaria

Not a surprise, the buzz around malaria prophylaxis was the second most discussed topic on the forum. In ISTM news, the fairly young Travel for Work Interest Group hosted a pre-meeting workshop at CISTM16. Headlined by Dr. Albie De Frey of South Africa, "Corporate Malaria Risk Management - Towards an International Best Practice Guideline for Corporates," focused on employees of companies that are located in malaria high risk areas. In world news, the first malaria vaccine, RTS,S, has moved from clinical trials to a large-scale pilot routine immunization program in Malawi, Ghana, and Kenya. The vaccine has been shown to reduce P. falciparum malaria cases in young children.
www.who.int/malaria/media/malaria-vaccine-implementation-qa/en

Rabies

In a topic you can sink your teeth into, rabies came in at a close third on the forum. As usual, the discussions centered around geographical areas of rabies risk, and PrEP/PEP. One post concerned a young man from British Columbia who died of the disease after being exposed to a bat. In ISTM news, EuroTravNet, a GeoSentinel subnetwork, has proposed a study that will compare post-exposure rabies guidance of European countries and societies. In world news, on World Rabies Day (September 28th), the United Against Rabies collaboration announced a year-one progress report on their "Zero by 30" goal of eliminating rabies worldwide by 2030.
https://rabiesalliance.org/news/united-against-rabies-collaboration-celebrates-one-year-progress-towards-zero-human-rabies

Hepatitis/Twinrix

The questions about hepatitis vaccination on the forum were as common as the ABCs—well, ABs. These included accelerated vs. standard schedule, delayed dose of vaccination (restarting the series), using a different vaccine to complete the series, shortage of pediatric formulation of the vaccines, adverse reaction to the vaccine(s). A reminder to ISTM members when posting a question with the brand name of a product: please include your question on the post instead of just the name of the vaccine, ie, "Twinrix." This way, users of the forum will easily see the question when scrolling through the discussions.

Altitude

Travel to high altitude was another lofty topic on the forum. In ISTM news, an exciting new Interest Group on Expedition and Wilderness Medicine was formed this year. More than 70 members have been adventurous enough to join the group so far. Visit www.ISTM.org/expeditionandwilderness to view the group’s objectives. In world news, the 4th deadliest season on the world’s tallest mountain, Mt. Everest, claimed at least 11 lives this year, not due to a natural disaster such as an avalanche, but to overcrowding and exposure.
www.outsideonline.com/2397250/everest-death-toll-rises-10

Japanese Encephalitis

Discussion of JE vaccine was viral on the forum. In ISTM news, "Vector Borne Diseases in Travellers: Focus on Japanese Encephalitis," was presented to ISTM members by Dr. Robert Steffen, Dr. Elizabeth Barnett, Dr. David Hamer, and Dr. Annelies Wilder-Smith. The presentation was recorded on June 7, 2019; access here:
https://myistm.istm.org/resourcesandtools/clinicalresources/istm-member-benefit-programs

In world news, in July 2019, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) published updated recommendations regarding prevention of Japanese encephalitis (JE) among US travellers including areas of risk and length of travel.

wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/news-announcements/japanese-encephalitis-travelers

Measles/MMR

A smaller rash of posts appeared about measles on the forum, relating to vaccination. In ISTM news, Geosentinel published an important study on measles in travellers: Angelo KM et al. GeoSentinel Network. The rise in travel-associated measles infections - GeoSentinel, 2015-2019. J Travel Med. 2019 Jun 20. pii: taz046. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taz046. World news was filled with a rash of stories about measles outbreaks:
https://reliefweb.int/report/world/measles-global-situation-disease-outbreak-news-27-november-2019

Other Discussion Topics

The hunt continued for finding a clinic in a particular country; questions about this were numerous on the forum. A reminder to ISTM members that the Global Travel Clinic Directory can be accessed here (after logging in):

www.ISTM.org/AF_CstmClinicDirectory.asp

If you cannot locate a clinic using the directory, it would be appropriate to post your question on the forum. There were several questions about TD/rifamixin, polio, dengue, and zika on the forum this year, although not as plentiful as in years past. If you’re strung out about the mind-blowing thought of the earth being swallowed in a black hole, instead check out the most mind-expanding discussion of the year on the forum, on the use of ayahuasca in Peru!


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Journal of Travel Medicine

Journal of Travel Medicine

The Journal of Travel Medicine has undergone a major transformation over the past 18 months!

These changes include the new design and logo, an enhanced publication speed, new manuscript categories (Clinical Pearls, Rapid Communication, Research Letters) and an increased impact factor. We had a historic record of 300 submissions in the year 2018, including an increasing number of submissions of systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

It is a privilege and honor to be working with a very competent, dedicated and passionate editorial board. Everyone is striving towards further improving our Society`s journal.

Reflecting the plenary sessions at CISTM in Washington earlier this year, JTM has published 3 corresponding major review articles related to Climate Change, Antimicrobial Resistance, and Telemedicine/mHealth/smartphones for travel medicine practice.

In 2018, we have had the following theme issues:

  • Migration Health
  • Emerging Infectious Diseases
  • Travel vaccines
  • Malaria

We are currently completing the following “themed” issues:

  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
  • Pregnant Travellers
  • Adventure and Wilderness Medicine
  • Tropical Diseases in Travel Medicine

I am pleased to announce the two winners of the Call for Systematic Reviews related to AMR and Older Travellers:

(1) Pietro Ferrara:
Del Prete V, Mateo-Urdiales A, Bueno-Cavanillas A, Ferrara

P. Malaria prevention in the older traveller: a systematic review.

J Travel Med. 2019 Oct 14;26(7). pii: taz067.

(2) Luis Furuya-Kanamori:
Furuya-Kanamori L, Stone J, Yakob L, Kirk M, Collignon P, Mills DJ, Lau CL.

Risk factors for acquisition of multidrug-resistant Enterobacterales among international travellers: A synthesis of cumulative evidence.

J Travel Med. 2019 Nov 6. pii: taz083. doi: 10.1093/jtm/taz083

Join me in congratulating Pietro and Luis!

Serving ISTM through JTM,
Annelies Wilder-Smith,
Journal of Travel Medicine Editor-in-Chief


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Journal of Travel Medicine Editorial Board

The ISTM would like to thank the tireless work of the JTM Editorial Board for their continued support and commitment to the JTM.

Editor-in-Chief: Annelies Wilder-Smith, United Kingdom

Deputy Editor: Eli Schwartz, Israel

Regional Advisors

Africa

Lucille Blumberg, South Africa

Southeast Asia

Pornthep Chanthavanich, Thailand

North East Asia

Guo Hui, China
Australia- New Zealand
Karin Leder, Australia

Middle East

Ziad Memish, Saudi Arabia

South Asia

Priscilla Rupali, India

Europe

Gerard Sonder, The Netherlands

Latin America

Jaime Torres, Venezuela

North America

Mary Wilson, United States of America

Associate Editors

Kristina Angelo, United States of America
Anita Heywood, Australia
Federico Gobbi, Italy
Eyal Leshem, Israel
Mark Riddle, United States of America

Associate Editors (Social Media)

Andrea Boggild, Associate Editor, Canada
Deborah Mills, Social Media Task Force, Australia
Sarah McGuiness, Social Media Task Force, Australia
Sarah Kohl, Social Media Task Force, United States of America
Sheila Mackell, Social Media Task Force, United States of America

Section Editors

Basic Science in Travel Medicine

Kevin Kain, Canada

Emerging Infectious Diseases

David Freedman, United States of America

Extreme Travel

Jenny Visser, New Zealand

Global Health and Travel

Michele Barry, United States of America

Laboratory Medicine

Martin Haditsch, Austria

Malaria

Blaise Genton, Switzerland

Mass Gatherings

Harunor Rashid, Australia

Migration

Christina Greenaway, Canada

Non-Communicable Diseases

Gerard Flaherty, Ireland

Older Travellers

Joe Torresi, Australia

Paediatric Travellers

Stefan Hagmann, United States of America

Pharmacy

Larry Goodyer, United Kingdom

Sentinel Surveillance in Travellers

David Hamer, United States of America

Skin Diseases and STI

Eric Caumes, France

Special Populations

Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America

Travel Medicine Education

Mary-Louise Scully, United States of America

Travellers Diarrhoea

Charles Ericsson, United States of America

Tropical Medicine

Michael Libman, Canada

Vaccines

Robert Steffen, Switzerland

Editors for "Clinical Pearls"

Sapha Barkati, Canada
Emmanuel Bottieau, Belgium
Christina Coyle, United States of America
Jose Munoz, Spain
Joachim Richter, Germany
Cornelia Staehelin, Switzerland
Perry van Genderen, The Netherlands

Editorial Board Members

Masatoki Adachi, Japan
Seif Al-Abri, Oman
Paul M. Arguin, United States of America
Buddha Basnyat, Nepal
Ronald H. Behrens, United Kingdom
Mads Buhl, Denmark
Miguel Cabada, Peru
Francesco Castelli, Italy
Santanu Chatterjee, India
Lin H. Chen, United States of America
Bradley A. Connor, United States of America
James Diaz, United States of America
Tyler Evans, United States of America
Vanessa Field, United Kingdom
Stefan Hagmann, United States of America
Travis Heggie, United States of America
Ralph Huits, Belgium
Tomas Jelinek, Germany
Herwig Kollaritsch, Austria
Susan Kuhn, Canada
Thomas Küpper, Germany
Tamar Lachish, Israel
Colleen Lau, Australia
Nicky Longley, United Kingdom
Anne McCarthy, Canada
Marc Mendelson, South Africa
Ami Neuberger, Israel
Andreas Neumayr, Switzerland
Hans D. Nothdurft, Germany
Salim Parker, South Africa
Androula Pavli, Greece
Watcharapong Piyaphanee, Thailand
Chris Sanford, United States of America
Marc Shaw, New Zealand
Tadishi Shinozuka, Japan
Fabrice Simon, France
Mike Starr, Australia
Haibo Wang, China
Adrienne Willcox, United Kingdom
Saber Yezli, Saudi Arabia
Lorenzo Zammarchi, Italy
Rudolph A. Zimmer, Canada
Thomas Zoller, Germany


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Travel Medicine Review and Update Course

27-28 March 2020
Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America

Sheila Mackell
Sheila Mackell,
Travel Medicine Review
and Update Course Co-Chair
Nancy Piper Jenks
Nancy Piper-Jenks,
Travel Medicine Review
and Update Course Co-Chair

The 2020 ISTM North American Travel Medicine Review and Update Course will be held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

The ISTM Review Course is designed to review the Body of Knowledge for the Practice of Travel Medicine and to highlight recent developments in Travel Medicine.

The curriculum will cover topics relevant to physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care professionals who provide medical care and advice to travellers, expatriates, and migrants. The sessions offered will include travel clinic management issues, principles of immune response, risk assessment, and a travel vaccine overview. The expert faculty will present topics including adventure travel, altitude and diving, bites and envenomation, cases, child and pregnant travellers, food and water exposure, global travel and risk assessment, high-risk travellers, ill travellers, malaria, review of statistics, travel medicine and digital communications, vaccines, vectors and VFR travellers.

Participants will have ample opportunity to interact with faculty through interactive sessions and informal discussions.

Information on the course venue and registration is located on the ISTM website at: www.ISTM.org


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ISTM Certificate of Knowledge in Travel Health Examinations

The Certificate in Travel Health (CTH®) recognizes individual excellence in knowledge of travel medicine (TM). The exam focuses specifically on the level of knowledge that is necessary to practice TM.

Since 2003 and after 18 exam sessions, over 2800 health professionals were awarded the CTH® The last exam in June in Washington before the CISTM16 allowed 320 candidates to test their knowledge on TM.

The Exam Committee is currently composed of 17 members and has the responsibility to deliver the exam starting from question writing and ending with checking results and discussing passing rates and before that of course overseeing the exam sessions.

 

Next year will be a particularly busy period for the committee as for the first time there will be more than two exams in one year. This will mean around 10 phone conferences, a meeting of the committee in Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America to review exam questions and before that some question writing.

Already open to registrations are the Auckland, NZ exam on March 18th in conjunction with the Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference, and our 20th exam, in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 5th in conjunction with the 8th Regional Conference of the ISTM and the 20th Argentine Congress on Infectious Diseases as well as the 5th Latin American Congress on Travel Medicine. This will be the first time the exam is held in South America!

Later in the year there will be an exam in Atlanta on 13 September 13th, in conjunction with the exam committee meeting.

Also there is a putative exam in Glasgow, Scotland in conjunction with the Royal College of Physicians of Glasgow and Faculty of TM.

We encourage all health professionals working in TM and who are non CTH® holders to consider attending the exam. All details for registration are on the ISTM website (www.ISTM.org/certificateofknowledge), we can only recommend to potential candidates to register early, as the exams are often fully booked.

“We encourage all health professionals working in TM and who are non CTH® holders to consider attending the exam.”


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Professional Groups

Nurses

Heather Connor
Heather Connor,
Nursing Professional
Group Chair

With the New Year approaching, it is often time to reflect and evaluate the events and successes of the past twelve months. However, it is also a time to look ahead with anticipation, set new goals, and move forward with what we have learned.

As NPG closes the year of 2019 we can be proud of our successes. During the CISTM16, two workshops were presented, more than 75 nurses attended the first ever NPG Dinner and awards were presented to two deserving nurses.

Pressing forward, we are currently preparing to present a workshop and a reception at the APTHC (March 18, 2020) in Auckland, New Zealand. Work has begun on proposals for CISTM17 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The Steering Committee wants to encourage all NPG Members to send us ideas for research projects, webinars and to be involved at the planning level. It is also our goal to participate in projects with other professional and interest groups.

Finally, we have one position open on the NPG Steering Committee. We will be formally taking recommendations/ applications in September, 2020. Please consider joining us!

Thanks, as always, to the great group of nurses who serve on the Steering Committee.

Heather Connor,
Nursing Professional Group Chair

Pharmacist

Karl Hess
Karl Hess,
Pharmacist Professional
Group Chair-Elect

It is an honor to have been elected Chair-Elect of the Pharmacist Professional Group for the ISTM. I would like to take this opportunity to list out some of my goals and activities that I have set out for myself and for our Professional Group. My aim in this role is to help highlight and promote examples of pharmacy-based travel health services to ISTM members and non-members in order to demonstrate the positive roles pharmacists play to help move the practice of travel health and medicine ahead.

Goals and activities for 2019-2021

Facilitating an annual needs assessment survey of PPG members in order to create development sessions so membership has a platform to share ideas and best clinical practices.

Working with the Chair of the PPG, Dr. Derek Evans, to continue the work started with FIP to establish a joint PPG-FIP group to further advance the practice of travel health for both associations. Working with ISTM Leadership to develop student chapters in order to create an awareness of travel health issues among students and to build a pipeline of new practitioners into the world of travel health and medicine

Liaising with the NPG, SIGs, and Committees to build upon and expand on our collaborative relationships and to work on joint projects together as these opportunities arise.

I look forward to working with the PPG Chair, Derek Evans, Leadership Council, and Membership to help advance our professional group and the practice of travel health for all. In addition to the above activities, the PPG remains very active in our ongoing projects including Pharmasentinel, Carrying Medicines Over Borders, review of travel health apps, and a joint paper on the practice of Ayahuasca. If you have interests in assisting on any of these projects, please contact Derek Evans (d.p.evans@btinternet.com) or myself (khess@chapman.edu).

Karl Hess
Pharmacist Professional Group Chair-Elect


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Meetings/Conferences

North American Travel Medicine Review and Update Course
Atlanta, Georgia,
United States of America
27-28 March 2020
www.ISTM.org/reviewandupdatecourse

13th Asia Pacific Travel Health Conference (APTHC)
Auckland, New Zealand
18-21 March 2020
www.apths.org/welcome-apthc

RCISTM8 in conjunction with the 20th Latin America Congress on Infectious Disease (SADI) and the 5th Latin America Congress on Travel Medicine (SLAMVI)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
21-23 May 2020
www.ISTM.org/content.asp?admin=Y&contentid=699

Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine 2020 (NECTM8)
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
3-5 June 2020
www.NECTM8.com

South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) Pan African Travel Medicine Congress
Kruger National Park, South Africa
14-17 October, 2020
https://sastm.eventbank.com/event/pan-african-travel-medicine-congress-kruger-national-park-2020-14199/


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Interest Groups

Military Travel

Military Travel Logo

Olivier Aoun
Olivier Aoun,
Military Travel Interest
Group Chair

All healthcare providers interested in or caring for service members are invited and encouraged to join the Military Travel Health Interest Group! Our group submitted three symposium proposals (including a joint one with the other professional and interest groups) for CISTM17. Two of these will have a complete cast of regional speakers from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, and India. Of the initial 100 numbered military coins manufactured, 20 are still remaining. They are sold USD 10 each (excluding shipping fees). Use this form to get a coin before they are all gone! The Executive Board has accepted our proposal for the current council members to remain in place until 2022 to ensure a strong interest group establishment and initial growth.

Please free to reach us if you have questions regarding our group or if you would like to become the next Scientific Chair.

Olivier Aoun, Chair
Holly Doyne, Co-chair
Milly Casey-Campbell, Secretary Treasurer

Olivier Aoun,
Military Travel Interest Group Chair

Pediatrics

Eyal Leshem
Eyal Leshem,
Pediatrics
Interest Group Chair

Preparing children to travel is challenging and requires special attention from all medical professions. Age limits, drug dosing and off-label use of medication, mandates cross disciplinary collaboration between physicians, nurses and pharmacists. Post travel illness in a child mandates involvement of pediatricians and travel and tropical medicine specialists.

In 2020, we would like to invite you to join our educational activities, enjoy the pediatric bibliography frequently updated by John Christenson and learn more on pediatric travel medicine. We would like to specifically invite nurses, pharmacists and physician assistants to join our group. Those interested in becoming actively involved in our activities, consider joining the pediatric interest group council.

Visit the group page at www.ISTM.org/pediatricsgroup or email me directly at Eyal.Leshem@sheba.health.gov.il.

Eyal Leshem,
Pediatrics Interest Group Chair

Psychological Health of Travellers

Tullia Marcolongo
Tullia Marcolongo,
Psychological Health
of Travellers
Interest Group Chair

Building on the success of the first-ever symposium on mental health at CISTM16 in Washington, our group produced another first in November – a webinar on travel and mental health. “The Mental Health First Aid Kit: How to Integrate the Psychological Health of Travellers in Your Busy Practice” was presented by industrial psychologist Marius van Aswegen of South Africa and family practitioner Sarah Borwein of Hong Kong.

The goal was to provide both pre-travel and in-country non-specialists with an understanding of the risks travellers face when psychological health is not addressed before departure – whether they have a pre-existing condition or not. Marius, founder of Xpatweb, focused on the importance of taking a systems approach when preparing travellers whether they are long- and short-term assignees such as expatriates and students, or short-term trippers such as tourists. Three key questions to consider:

  • Are medical practitioners and travellers aware and prepared for managing mental health risks?
  • Are mental health considerations sufficiently incorporated in medical practices (proactive preparation versus reactive psychiatric illness emergencies)?
  • What is the traveller’s mental health contingency plan when things go wrong?

Sarah presented case studies on depression, bipolar disorder, and child psychology based on her experience as director of the TravelSafe Medical Centre at Central Health Medical Practice. She highlighted the challenges travellers and expatriates face including stressors such as culture shock, marital strain, work stress, homesickness; problems accessing culturally-competent care and psychotropic medication; how lack of trust in foreign healthcare systems often delays effective treatment; as well as how cultural differences can become critical more quickly during psychiatric emergencies.

The presenters also discussed the lack of mental health coverage in travel health insurance. Most plans do not cover any mental health conditions; they exclude coverage for a first-time event or pre-existing condition. Travellers are unfortunately not aware of this and find out during an emergency that they are not covered. Here are some quick tips to integrate psychological well-being in your practice:

  • Educate about stressors associated with travel and expatriation
  • Educate about early warning signs of mental health issues (for example, sleep disturbance, substance misuse/self-medication with alcohol, anxiety, fatigue, changes in appetite, irritability)
  • Educate that these are medical issues – help to de-stigmatize mental health
  • Encourage early engagement with mental health professionals
  • Develop a mental health emergency plan – critical if insurance does not cover psychiatric events
  • For high risk individuals, try to identify in-country sources of help prior to travel
  • Discuss when they should come home

Next steps
To keep the momentum going, our group will develop tools for non-specialist practitioners to help you incorporate psychological health in your consultations. Look out for resources that can help your long-term assignees and students to ensure that they are prepared for their journey.

Tullia Marcolongo,
Psychological Health of Travellers Interest Group Chair

Responsible Travel

Trish Smith
Trish Smith,
Travel for Work
Interest Group Chair

The Responsible Travel Group has continued on with the successful work previously commenced or completed by the previous chairs and members of the team. We extend our thanks for the work and effort they have expended getting to this point.

With digital communication and a changing environment, we are encountering a new age of travel. It is disturbing that researching and exploring key travel-related issues have not been addressed. The impact on host countries, resources and their communities and environment has been one of our main prevailing themes. There is however, more work to do to disseminate this message.

The Responsible Travel Group has developed its repertoire and focus, to address new issues as they present and to prepare for the next decade and beyond.

“Travel Medicine in a Changing Climate” was the overall theme for CISTM16 5th – 9th June 2019 in Washington DC. Like everything there will be trial and error however the app developed by ISTM’s Kayce Maisel was helpful and after a few uses was intuitive to use.

The Responsible Travel Group is also planning for other events and was invited to take part in establishing a Task Force on ISTM Sustainable Development Goals. This invitation was accepted, as sustainable development has been incorporated into ongoing projects of the Responsible Travel Group from its inception.

There is also an invitation to host a workshop at the Pan American Travel Medicine Conference at Skukuza, Kruger National Park 14th – 17th October 2020. The theme will be “One- Health and the impact on the Traveller and Community." Jim Bond and Tullia Marcolongo from the Responsible Travel Group will host the workshop. Tullia Marcolongo is also the Current chair of the Psychological Health of Travellers special interest group.

Moving forward there will be representation from the Responsible Travel Group at the APTHC 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Plans are still being refined for collaboration on a workshop with the Nursing Professional Group.

To the many members of the Responsible Travel Group, we would like to hear from you! If you have any contributions to make, or want to raise awareness of issues that fit with the responsible travel philosophy please do not hesitate to make contact. Please also make yourself known at the conferences where we may have an information stand. It is always nice to speak with members and receive your feedback. We also encourage to consider applying to ISTM Call for Nominations when posted if you are interested in becoming more involved.

It is at this time that we say thank you to Jim Bond who has completed his term as Chair of the Responsible Travel Group. He has done a terrific job keeping us all focused and as a role model led the group along with former chairs and group members to this time. Jim will remain involved as the immediate past chair and guide and assist where needed. Trish Smith assumed the role of Chair of the Responsible Travel Group in June 2019.

Trish Smith,
Responsible Travel Interest Group Chair


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Student Travel Abroad

Julie Richards
Julie Richards,
Digital Communications
Committee Chair

Nominations are open! The ISTM Executive Committee recently approved the STA interest group's proposal to expand our council. Are you passionate about students and travel? We’d love to have you join us. There are several open seats on the STA Council for this term. We are seeking candidates interested in working in a collaborative fashion to ultimately improve the quality of care provided to student travellers and the communities they impact. If interested in serving on the Steering Council, you have until 15 January 2020 to complete a nomination/application form to be considered for inclusion on the ballot for the upcoming election.

In other news, the STA Interest Group is hoping to participate in a CISTM17 symposium with all the other interest groups focusing on The Female Traveller. In addition, our research project in collaboration with the CDC is going strong with multiple colleges and universities collecting data. We are still recruiting universities to join the project entitled "Travel Health-related Preparation Practices and Occurrence of Health-related Events among Undergraduate Students Studying Abroad."

If you are interested in your college or university participating, please don't hesitate to contact Sarah Kohl, our project lead, who can assist with the IRB process. She has done a terrific job of creating a streamlined and hassle-free approach. You may contact us for further information through the ISTM Secretariat by email or phone: +1 (404) 373-8282.

Julie Richards,
Student Travel Abroad Interest Group Chair


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Leaders of the International Society of Travel Medicine

ISTM Executive Board

President: Lin Chen, United States of America*
Immediate Past President: Leo Visser, the Netherlands*
President-Elect: Peter A. Leggat, Australia*

Councilors:
Rebecca Acosta, United States of America*
Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America*
Andrea Rossanese, Italy*
Jenny Visser, New Zealand*

Secretary/Treasurer: Michael Jones, United Kingdom
Executive Director: Diane L. Nickolson, United States of America

*Voting Members

ISTM Publication Editors

Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Travel Medicine: Annelies Wilder-Smith
Editor-in-Chief, Travel Medicine News: Alexandra Grieve, United Kingdom

ISTM Board Committees

Liaison Chair: Robert Steffen, Switzerland

Members:
Co-Chair and NECTM Liaison: Fiona Genasi, United Kingdom
US CDC ACIP Liason: Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America
APTHS Liaison: Anthony Gherardin, Australia
CDC Liaison: Phyllis Kozarsky, United States of America
South America Travel Medicine Community Liaison: Mary Wilson, United States of America

Special Recognitions Committee

Chair: Charles D. Ericsson, United States of America
Co-Chair: Prativa Pandey, Nepal

Members:
Fiona Genasi, United Kingdom
Louis Loutan, Switzerland
Phyllis Kozarsky, United States of America

ISTM Standing Committees

Continuing Professional Development

Chair: Jeffrey Goad, United States of America

Members:
Masatoki Adachi, Japan
Nelson Ivan Agudelo Higuita, United States of America
Richard Dawood, United Kingdom
Sherilyn Houle, Canada
Androula Pavli, Greece
Gilles Poumerol, Switzerland
Gail Rosselot, United States of America
Philip Scappatura, Canada
Eli Schwartz, Israel
Rick Siemens, United Kingdom
Hilary Simons, United Kingdom
Kenneth Dardick, Examination Committee Liaison, United States of America

Digital Communications

Chair: Sarah McGuinness, Australia
Co-Chair: Christopher Van Tilburg, United States of America

Members:
Jane Chiodini, United Kingdom
Julian Eyears, United Kingdom
Vanessa Field, United Kingdom
Anny Huang, United Kingdom
Sarah Kohl, United States of America
Adbelkader Lahmar, France
Laura Santos Larregola, Spain
Deborah Mills, Australia
Hans Nothdurft, Germany
Dipti Patel, United Kingdom
Natalia Rodriguez Valero, Spain
Noud Schel, Netherlands
Patricia Schlagenhauf, Switzerland
Jeroen van der Hilst, Belgium

Examination

Chair: Pierre Landry, Switzerland
Co-Chair: Paul Arguin, United States of America

Members:
Brian Aw, Canada
Buddha Basnyat, Nepal
Philip E. Coyne Jr., United States of America
Mieke Croughs, Belgium
Kenneth Dardick, United States of America
Gerard Flaherty, Ireland
Carlos Franco-Paredes, United States of America
Jeff Goad, United States of America
Martin Haditsch, Austria
Sonny Lau, Australia
David Roque, United States of America
Elaine Rosenblatt, United States of America
Andrea Rossanese, Italy
Eli Schwartz, Israel
Trish Smith, Australia

Professional Education

Chair: Sarah Kohl, United States of America
Co-Chair: Dipti Patel, United Kingdom

Members:
Susan Anderson, United States of America
Olivier Aoun, France
Lee Baker, South Africa
Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America
Michele Barry, United States of America
Garth Brink, South Africa
I. Dale Carroll, United States of America
Christina Coyle, United States of America
Derek Evans, United Kingdom
Philippe Gautret, France
Michael Holzer, United States of America
Susan L.F. McLellan, United States of America
Gail Rosselot, United States of America
Mary-Louise Scully, United States of America
Dawd Siraj, United States of America
Jenny Visser, New Zealand
Course Co-Chair: Sheila Mackell, United States of America
Course Co-Chair: Nancy Piper Jenks, United States of America
Webinar Co-Chair: Yen-Giang Bui, Canada
Webinar Co-Chair: Dipti Patel, United Kingdom

Publications

Chair: Gerard Flaherty, Ireland

Members:
Journal of Travel Medicine Editor: Annelies Wilder-Smith, Switzerland
Travel Medicine News Editor: Alexandra Grieve, United Kingdom
Travel Medicine News Associate Editor: Nancy Pietroski, United States of America
Charles Ericsson, United States of America
Effrossyni Gkrania-Klotsas, United Kingdom
Christopher Van Tilburg, United States of America
Rudy Zimmer, Canada

Research and Awards

Chair: Martin Grobusch, The Netherlands
Co-Chair: Mary Wilson, United States of America

Members:
Elizabeth Barnett, United States of America
Jose Flores, Mexico
Katherine Gibney, Australia
Stefan Hagmann, United States of America
David Hamer, United States of America
Eyal Leshem, Israel
Sarah McGuinness, Australia
Eskild Petersen, Oman/Denmark
Kyle Petersen, United States of America
Mark Riddle, United States of America
Mirella Salvatore, United States of America
Larry Selkow, United States of America
Dawd Siraj, United States of America
Hai-Bo Wang, China

Professional Group Leadership Councils

Nursing

Chair: Heather Connor, Canada
Chair-Elect: Caroline Nash, Australia

Council Members:
Ruth Anderson, Australia
Catherine Keil, Australia
Lisa Lynch Jones, United States of America
Jutarmas Olanwijitwong, Thailand
Danielle Peel, Australia
Lisa Scotland, New Zealand

Pharmacy

Chair: Derek Evans, United Kingdom
Chair-Elect: Karl Hess, United States of America
Immediate Past Chair: Lee Baker, South Africa

Council Members:
Ian Heslop, Australia
Sherilyn Houle, Canada
Keri Hurley-Kim, United States of America
Patricia Schlagenhauf, Switzerland
Sheila Seed, United States of America
Mark Walberg, United States of America

Interest Groups Leadership Councils

Migrant and Refugee Health Leadership Council

Chair: Marissa Vive, The Netherlands
Chair-Elect: Sapha Barkati, Canada
Immediate Past Chair: Masatoki Adachi, Japan

Council Members:
Federico Gobbi, Italy
Stefan Hagmann, United States of America
Anita Heywood, Australia
Godwin T. Igodo, United Kingdom
Susan Kuhn, Canada

Military Travel

Chair: Olivier Aoun, France
Holly Doyne, United States of America
Mildred Casey-Campbell, Canada
Peter Leggat, Australia

Older Traveller

Chair: Joseph Torresi, Australia
Charles Ericsson, United States of America
Gerard Flaherty, Ireland
Federico Gobbi, Italy
Andrea Rossanese, Italy

Pediatrics

Chair: Eyal Leshem, Israel
Immediate Past Chair: Stefan Hagmann, United States of America

Council Members:
Sarah Kohl, United States of America
Shirley Molitor-Kirsch, United States of America
Natalie Prevatt, United Kingdom
Francisco Silva, United States of America
Mike Starr, Australia

Psychological Health of Travellers

Chair: Tullia Marcolongo, Canada
Immediate Past Chair: Michael Jones, United Kingdom

Council Members:
Peter Felkai, Hungary
Stefanus (Fanie) Jute, South Africa
Anne Terry, United States of America
Marius van Aswegen, South Africa

Responsible Travel

Chair: Patricia (Trish) Smith, Australia
Immediate Past Chair: Jim Bond, Scotland, United Kingdom

Council Members:
Joanne Grey, Australia
Tullia Marcolongo, Canada
Caroline Nash, Australia

Student Travel Abroad

Chair: Julie Richards, United States of America
Immediate Past Chair: Mark Newell, Australia

Council Members:
Jorge Baruch Diaz Ramirez, Mexico
Catherine Ebelke, United States of America
Gail Rosselot, United States of America
Dawd Siraj, United States of America

Travel for Work

Chair: Michael Holzer, United States of America
Immediate Past Chair: Albie de Frey, South Africa

Council Members:
Ian Cheng, Australia
Dipti Patel, United Kingdom
Douglas Randell, Australia
Herbert Schilthuis, The Netherlands
Jennifer Sisson, Australia

ISTM Foundation

President: Robert Steffen, Switzerland

Board Members:
Christina Greenaway, Canada
Martin Grobusch, The Netherlands
Michael Jones, United Kingdom
Kevin Kain, Canada
Phyllis Kozarsky, United States of America
Joseph Torresi, Australia
Executive Director: Diane L. Nickolson, United States of America

GeoSentinel

Co-Principal Investigator: Davidson Hamer, United States of America
Co-Principal Investigator: Michael Libman, Canada
CDC Medical Epidemiologist: Kristina Angelo, United States of America

Co-Investigators:
Chair, Special Populations Working Group: Phillippe Gautret, France
Chair, Data Collections Working Group: Karin Leder, Australia
Chair, Enhanced Clinical Surveillance Working Group: Kevin Kain, Canada
Chair, Tracking and Communications Working Group: Vanessa Field, United Kingdom
Committee Chair, External Collaboration Committee (ECCo): Patricia Schlagenhauf, Zurich
Committee Chair, Publications Committee: Andrea Boggild, Canada
Special Advisor on behalf of CDC: Phyllis Kozarsky, United States of America
CanTravNet: Kevin Kain, Canada
EuroTravNet: Philippe Gautret, France