Cases of Malaria, Hepatitis A, and Typhoid Fever Among VFRs, Quebec (Canada)

Authors

  • Yen-Giang Bui MD, DTMH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Public Health, Charles-LeMoyne Hospital, Longueuil, Canada
    2. Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Stéphane Trépanier MD, MSc,

    1. Master in Clinical Sciences (Public Health), Faculty of Medicine, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
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  • François Milord MD, FRCPC,

    1. Department of Public Health, Charles-LeMoyne Hospital, Longueuil, Canada
    2. Département des sciences de la santé communautaire, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
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  • Manon Blackburn MD, MSc, FRCPC,

    1. Department of Public Health, Charles-LeMoyne Hospital, Longueuil, Canada
    2. Département des sciences de la santé communautaire, University of Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, Canada
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  • Sylvie Provost MD, MSc,

    1. Direction de santé publique, Agence de santé et des services sociaux de Montréal, Montreal, Canada
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  • Suzanne Gagnon MD, FCFP, MA

    1. Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Québec, Canada
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  • Preliminary results were presented at the Tropical and Parasitic Diseases: A Review of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine Conference, McGill University, May 2010, Montreal, Canada.

Yen-Giang Bui, MD, DTMH, Programme maladies transmissibles, Direction de santé publique, Agence de la santé et des services sociaux de la Montérégie, 1255 rue Beauregard, Longueuil, QC, Canada J4K 2M3. E-mail: y.bui@rrsss16.gouv.qc.ca

Abstract

Background. Visiting friends and relatives (VFRs), especially young VFRs, are increasingly recognized in the industrialized world as a high-risk group of travelers.

Methods. We performed a descriptive, cross-sectional design study of cases of malaria, hepatitis A, and typhoid reported to the Quebec registry of notifiable diseases between January 2004 and December 2007, occurring in VFRs and non-VFRs travelers.

Results. VFRs account for 52.9% of malaria cases, 56.9% of hepatitis A cases, and 94.4% of typhoid cases reported in Quebec travelers. Almost all (91.6%) of the malaria cases among VFRs were acquired in Africa, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. An important proportion of malaria cases among VFRs (86.4%) were due to Plasmodium falciparum. The vast majority (76.6%) of typhoid fever cases among VFRs were reported by travelers who had visited the Indian subcontinent. Among VFRs, 40% of total cases were under 20 y of age, compared to less than 6% among non-VFRs. Those under 20 years of age also accounted for 16.9% of malaria cases, 50% of typhoid cases, and 65.2% of hepatitis A cases among VFRs.

Conclusion. Our study clearly shows that VFR children should be a primary target group for pre-travel preventive measures.

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