Preventive measures, risk behaviour and the most common health problems in Czech travellers: a prospective questionnaire study in post-travel clinic outpatients

Authors: V. Grebenyuk 1,2;  J. Lhoťan 2;  T. Rudová 2;  L. Richterová 3,4,5;  H. Roháčová 2;  F. Stejskal 1,2,6,7;  M. Trojánek 1,2,8
Authors‘ workplace: Klinika infekčních nemocí, 2. lékařská fakulta, Univerzita Karlova, Praha 1;  Klinika infekčních, parazitárních a tropických nemocí, Nemocnice Na Bulovce, Praha 2;  Oddělení klinické mikrobiologie, Nemocnice Na Bulovce, Praha 3;  Klinika infekčních a tropických nemocí, 1. lékařská fakulta, Univerzita Karlova, Praha 4;  Ústav laboratorní diagnostiky, 3. lékařská fakulta, Univerzita Karlova, Praha 5;  Ústav imunologie a mikrobiologie, 1. lékařská fakulta, Univerzita Karlova, Praha 6;  Infekční oddělení, Krajská nemocnice Liberec, Liberec 7;  Katedra infekčního lékařství, IPVZ, Praha 8
Published in: Epidemiol. Mikrobiol. Imunol. 70, 2021, č. 1, s. 32-41
Category: Original Papers


Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate attitudes towards the available preventive measures, risk behaviour and health problems in Czech travellers to tropical and subtropical regions.

Materials and methods: The prospective study included patients of all ages with a history of recent travel to risky countries who presented to the post-travel clinic of the Hospital Na Bulovce in Prague within two months after return, from February 2009 to June 2018. The data were collec­ted through a questionnaire survey and from electronic medical records.

Results: Nine hundred and thirty-four patients (473 M and 461 F, age median of 32 years, IQR 27-39) participated in the study. The most frequent destinations were South-East Asia (332; 35.5%), South Asia (176, 18.8%), and Sub-Saharan Africa (172; 18.4%). The most common reasons for tra­vel were tourism (772; 82.7%) and business (111; 11.9%). An underlying chronic disease was reported by 317 patients (33.9%). Pre-travel health consultation was sought by 415 travellers (44.4%); however, only 312 (33.4%) of the respondents were properly vaccinated. Preventive malaria chemoprophylaxis was indicated in a total of 151 travellers (16.2%) but was only received by 44/151 patients (29.1%). Risky eating or drinking behaviour was admitted by 832 (89.1%) respondents and low standard accommodation by 525 (56.2 %) travellers. The most commonly reported clinical syndromes were acute and chronic diarrhoea (266; 28.5%), febrile illness (240; 25.7%) and skin lesions (166; 17.8%). A total of 199 patients presented with tropical infection (21.3%) and 63 with a vaccine-preventable infection or malaria (6.7%). 

Conclusions: The study shows that the adherence of Czech travellers to preventive measures is relatively low, and along with risky behaviours, has a significant impact on travel-related morbidity. However, vaccine-preventable infections only accounted for a small fraction of travel-related illness, which is in accordance with other epidemiological studies and points out the need for a more comprehensive interdisciplinary approach to pre-travel health consultations.


travel medicine – vaccination – Antimalarials – travel-related illness


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