Treatments for Respiratory infection
Affected travelers are usually managed similarly to nontravelers, although travelers with progressive or severe illness should be evaluated for illnesses specific to their travel destinations and exposure history. Most respiratory infections are due to viruses, are mild, and do not require specific treatment or antibiotics. Self-treatment with antibiotics during travel can be considered for higher-risk travelers with symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection. A respiratory-spectrum fluoroquinolone such as levofloxacin or a macrolide such as azithromycin may be prescribed to the traveler for this purpose before travel.
The rate of influenza among travelers is not known. The difficulty in self-diagnosing influenza makes it problematic to decide whether to prescribe travelers a neuraminidase inhibitor for self-treatment. This practice should probably be limited to travelers with a specific underlying condition that may predispose them to severe influenza.
Specific situations that may require medical intervention include the following:
- Pharyngitis without rhinorrhea, cough, or other symptoms that may indicate infection with group A Streptococcus.
- Sudden onset of cough, chest pain, and fever that may indicate pneumonia (or pulmonary embolism), resulting in a situation where the traveler may be sick enough to seek medical care right away.
- Travelers with underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, pulmonary disease, or heart disease, who may need to seek medical care earlier than otherwise healthy travelers.
Source: CDC Yellow Book 20161
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Back to: « Respiratory infection
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- Source: CDC Yellow Book 2016: cdc.gov/ travel/ yellowbook/ 2016/ the-pre-travel-consultation/ respiratory-infections
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Note: This site is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. See your doctor or other qualified medical professional for all your medical needs.