General Approach for the Returned Traveler
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Yellow Book is the recommended resource for information specific to illnesses associated with a returned traveler. Visit the Yellow Book (Chapter 5) on the CDC website for general information on how to approach travel-related health problems.
Travel-related health problems have been reported in as many as 22 percent to 64 percent of travelers returning from developing countries. Although most of these illnesses are mild, up to 8 percent of travelers are sick enough to seek treatment from a healthcare provider. Most post-travel infections become apparent soon after travel, but incubation periods vary, and some conditions can appear months to years after initial infection. Possible illnesses associated with fever appearing in the first two weeks after travel are noted in the table below. Additional resources for evaluating a returned traveler can be found here.
Illnesses associated with fever appearing in the first two weeks after travel
Systemic febrile illness with initial nonspecific symptoms
Fever with central nervous system involvement
Fever with respiratory symptoms
Fever and skin rash
The Yellow Book covers common travel-related health problems, including fever in returned travelers, persistent travelers’ diarrhea, skin/soft tissue infections, and advice on screening asymptomatic returned travelers.