1921
Volume 102, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Travelers are often at risk for both influenza-like illness (ILI) and malaria. Doxycycline is active against pathogens causing ILI and is used for malaria prophylaxis. We evaluated the risk factors for ILI, and whether the choice of malaria prophylaxis was associated with ILI. TravMil is a prospective observational study enrolling subjects presenting to military travel clinics. Influenza-like illness was defined as subjective fever with either a sore throat or cough. Characteristics of trip and use of malaria prophylaxis were analyzed to determine association with development of ILI. Poisson regression models with robust error variance were used to estimate relative risk (RR) of ILI. A total of 3,227 trips were enrolled: 62.1% male, median age of 39 years (interquartile range [IQR] 27,59), median travel duration 19 days (IQR 12, 49); 32% traveled to Africa, 40% to Asia, and 27% to the Caribbean and Latin America. Military travel (46%) and vacation (40%) were most common reasons for travel. Among them, 20% took doxycycline, 50% other prophylaxis, and 30% took none; 8.7% developed ILI. Decreased RR of ILI was associated with doxycycline (RR 0.65 [0.43–0.99], = 0.046) and military travel (RR 0.30 [0.21–0.43], < 0.01). Increased risk of ILI was associated with female gender (RR 1.57 [1.24–1.98], < 0.01), travel to Asia (RR 1.37 [1.08–1.75], = 0.01), and cruises (RR 2.21 [1.73–2.83], < 0.01). Use of doxycycline malaria prophylaxis is associated with a decreased risk of ILI. Possible reasons include anti-inflammatory or antimicrobial effects, or other unmeasured factors. With few strategies for decreasing ILI in travelers, these findings bear further investigation.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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  • Received : 30 Aug 2019
  • Accepted : 12 Nov 2019
  • Published online : 10 Feb 2020
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