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From The CriticsReviewer: Grace M Auten, MD (Piedmont Infectious Diseases Consultants, PA)
Description: This is the third edition of a travel medicine atlas that reviews infectious diseases and other health-related risks of travel. The initial chapters describe accidents, waterborne diseases, altitude sickness, sex-related infections, and other conditions, followed by chapters that focus on specific diseases such as chikungunya, meningitis, travelers' diarrhea, and yellow fever. The final chapters provide country-specific information with color-coded maps and icons for disease risk.
Purpose: According to the authors, the book is intended to serve as a guide for healthcare professionals when discussing travel health with patients. This is a worthy goal because of international travel embarked upon by millions of travelers all over the world, and the authors' concern that many people are unaware of travel risks. The book meets the authors' objectives with easy-to-read topics and maps, and by providing multiple online references for access to updated information.
Audience: The authors, with long experience in travel medicine in the U.K., intend for health professionals to use the initial two sections on conditions and infections, and both health professionals and patients to use the third, country-specific, sections. Its scientific reviews and references lend credence to its usefulness to healthcare professionals who are educating travelers and perhaps presenting lectures to community groups or students. The third section of compartmentalized advice for each country (malaria, immunizations, other), cartoonish icons and graphic maps will likely result in heightened interest among travelers, even those who do not work in healthcare-related settings.
Features: This 169-page book methodically reviews health hazards of travel. The sections are cross-referenced by means of icons that represent conditions such as fresh water parasites, casual sex and blood-borne modes of infection, biting insects and bugs, accidents, and other conditions. Each disease topic covers epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment. Particularly well covered is the relative risk of malaria in various areas of individual countries by means of variegated coloration of maps. However, advice for medications to prevent and treat malaria is not provided; rather, the reader is advised to use a U.K. website for current drug information.
Assessment: Combining this book with trusted online sources of travel health information will result in enhanced knowledge about travel risks, and will enable travelers to be proactive in avoiding mishaps. The updated edition contains a significant amount of new information compared to the first edition. It is unique in that it is appealing to both healthcare professionals who provide travel health guidance and to travelers with little to no health training.