Strongyloides, Dengue Fever, and Tuberculosis Conversions in New Zealand Police Deploying Overseas

Authors

  • Jenny T. Visser MbCHB, MTravMed,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
      Jenny T. Visser, MbCHB, Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand. E-mail: jenny.visser@otago.ac.nz
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  • Anantha Narayanan,

    1. Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
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  • Briar Campbell RN, PGDipTravMed

    1. Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand
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Jenny T. Visser, MbCHB, Department of Primary Health Care & General Practice, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, University of Otago, Wellington, New Zealand. E-mail: jenny.visser@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

Background. Members of New Zealand Police (NZP) deploy overseas in a variety of roles. There is limited published data on travel-related morbidity in police as a subgroup of travelers.

Methods. An audit of pre- and postdeployment medical files for all NZP personnel deploying overseas during 2004 to 2010 was undertaken. Of all deployments, 58.9% were within Oceania.

Results. Positive Strongyloides stercoralis serology was returned in 6.07% (95% CI: 3.80%–9.13%) at a rate of 9.00/1,000 person deployment months (pdm) (95% CI: 5.57–13.8). Dengue fever seroconversion was recorded in 4.91% (95% CI: 3.40%–6.83%) at a rate of 8.57/1,000 pdm (95% CI: 5.90–12.0). The relative risk of dengue infection was 7.47 for Timor Leste compared to all other deployment destinations. An association between seroconverting for both dengue fever and Strongyloides was found. Tuberculosis conversion was recorded in 1.76% (95% CI: 0.85%–3.21%) at a rate of 2.92/1,000 pmd (95% CI: 1.48–5.375). A single case of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) seroconversion was recorded. There were no recorded hepatitis C seroconversions.

Conclusions. Police deploying overseas appear to have similar rates of dengue and tuberculosis conversion as other groups of travelers, and they appear to be at low risk of hepatitis C and HIV. Strongyloidiasis appears to be a significant risk; postdeployment prevalence was markedly higher than that reported in a small number of studies.

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