The travel and tropical medicine manual

The travel and tropical medicine manual

Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease (2011) 9, 142e143 available at journal homepage: B...

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Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease (2011) 9, 142e143 available at

journal homepage:

BOOK REVIEW Elaine Jong, Christopher Sanford (Eds.), The travel and tropical medicine manual, 4th ed., Vol. xiv, Saunders Elsevier, London, 2008, 682 pp., Paperback, GBP39.99, ISBN 978-1-4160-26143-6. Travel medicine is a discipline that is constantly evolving, as the patterns of disease and injury change; however the synergy between travel and tropical medicine has existed throughout the age of travel and throughout the development of the discipline. The Fourth Edition of The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual satisfies the need for a ready reference source of information on major travel-related and tropical disease and injury issues. It has a table of Contents, a Preface, a list of Contributors, seven main Sections, 45 chapters, an Appendix, and a comprehensive Index. There are also numerous Tables, a few Figures and a small number of colour photographs. The textbook is presented as a compact 11.5  19.5  3.0 cm paperback reference book, which would easily fit into the coat pocket, briefcase or the office desktop reference shelf. It is well researched, consistent, and systematic in its presentation, especially around the presentation of various infectious diseases. The fourth edition of The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual gives a comprehensive description of the general principles of pre-travel health advice, as well as practical discussion on significant travel and tropical diseases and other issues relevant for the traveller. Major numbered Sections include “Section 1 Pre-Travel Advice” (9 chapters), “Section 2 Advice for Special Travelers” (9 chapters), “Section 3 Fever” (8 chapters), “Section 4 Diarrhea” (4 chapters), “Section 5 Skin Lesions” (6 chapters), “Section 6 Sexually Transmitted Diseases” (4 chapters) and “Part 7 Worms” (5 chapters). The Appendix lists some useful resources and website links. The major Sections are denoted by colour-coded tabs at the top of each page. The largest section of the textbook is Section 2 “Advice for Special Travelers” (150 pp). The comprehensive approach taken by The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual is reflected by the inclusion of a dedicated chapter on the “Air Carrier Issues in Travel Medicine” (Ch. 4, p 41), which includes issues such as cabin air and the contents of in-flight emergency medical kits. As alluded to in another book review,1 the visual guide to permethrin impregnation of clothing is especially helpful (p. 9). It is particularly notable that there is a chapter


pertaining to “The Business Expatriate” (Ch. 17), which is often overlooked in travel medicine. As it is also a tropical medicine manual, there are numerous chapters on major tropical diseases of importance to travellers, including malaria, leptospirosis, tuberculosis, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, and a range of chapters on various helminths. There is a whole Section on “Sexually Transmitted Diseases” (Section 6), which is also an important topic for travellers. Human immunodeficiency virus is covered separately (Ch. 14). Although the discrepancy in the length of the chapter on “Water Disinfection” (Ch. 8) compared with “Traveler’s diarrhea” is seen as disproportionate,2 it is none-the-less one of the best chapters seen on this topic and Table 8.3 (p 115) lends support to the standard advice of recommending 1 min of boiling water to inactivate key pathogens. There are also a number of very useful disease distribution maps throughout the manual. The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual covers some of the very important non-infectious disease risks. In the chapter on “Urban Medicine” (Ch. 2), the manual attempts to cover a variety of safety related issues, ranging from air pollution to trauma. This is such an important issue, together with pre-existing illnesses, which are amongst the leading causes of death of travellers abroad. Although there is an early chapter on “Emerging Diseases and the International Traveler” (Ch. 3), there can never be enough material on this important issue in travel medicine and perhaps this chapter could be expanded upon. It is also difficult to have a Section on “Skin Lesions” without a generous number of photos. The two colour photographs given both relate to leishmaniasis and illustrate the potential usefulness of these photos. While the topics are alluded to in various chapters, it is none-the-less surprising that there is not a specific chapter dealing with travel insurance and aeromedical retrieval. It also surprising that there is no dedicated section or chapter on expedition and wilderness medicine, even though the manual is well set up for this purpose with a number of relevant chapters. The pharmacological management of infections is largely restricted to tables and has been evaluated as brief and general with a need to refer to more comprehensive drug information for more detail,3 which is probably expected in a manual. There are some minor omissions, many of which have been previously identified,1 including: absence of a discussion on artemether-lumefantrine for treatment of malaria, no mention of Plasmodium knowlesi, and no mention of enteroaggregative Escherichia coli.

Book review The editors, Elaine C. Jong and Christopher Sanford, are closely linked with the University of Washington, which have hosted travel medicine courses for many years. Elaine C. Jong is Past Director, University of Washington Travel and Tropical Medicine Service, and Emeritus Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Christopher Sanford is Co-Director, University of Washington Travel Clinic at Hall Health Center, and Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, USA. There are also 48 contributors of whom 45 come from North America, predominantly from the USA. Hence it is a manual with a North American focus, but a number of contributors have published internationally and/ or have an international profile. The Travel and Tropical Medicine Manual is useful reference for all physicians, nurses and pharmacists working full-time or part-time in travel medicine. It would be a valuable companion to some of the larger textbooks of travel medicine that are currently available.4,5 The manual will also appeal as a ready reference manual for general practitioners and other health professionals, especially those who are called upon to occasionally provide travel health advice. Academic and research departments of travel medicine should also consider the manual as a recommended textbook list for their libraries and graduate and postgraduate courses in travel medicine. The manual is also relatively inexpensive to purchase, but it has significant competition in the form of the highly regarded Manual of Travel Medicine and Health.6


Conflict of interest None.

References 1. Hamer DH. Book review: the travel and tropical medicine manual. 4th ed. Communic Inf Dis 2009;49:1175. 2. Granowitz EV. Book review: the travel and tropical medicine manual. 4th ed. Emerg Inf Dis 2009;15:853. 3. Lau TTY. Book review: the travel and tropical medicine manual. 4th ed. Can J Hosp Pharm 2009;62:422e3. 4. Zuckerman JN, editor. Principles and practice of travel medicine. 1st ed. London: Wiley; 2001. Reviewed in J Travel Med 2003; 10: 313-314. 5. Keystone JS, Kozarsky PE, Freedman DO, Nothdurfy HD, Conner BA, editors. Travel medicine. 2nd ed. London: Mosby; 2008. Reviewed in JAMA 2010; 303: 1648-1649. 6. Steffen R, DuPont H, Wilder-Smith A. Manual of travel medicine and health. 3rd ed. Hamilton: BC Decker Inc; 2007. Reviewed J Travel Med 2009; 16: 445.

Peter A. Leggat School of Public Health, Tropical Medicine and Rehabilitation Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland 4811, Australia E-mail address: [email protected] 3 April 2011 Available online 26 May 2011