UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Defining Short- and Long-Term Travel Bettinger, Julie A.; Kozarsky, Phyllis E. Mar 1, 2002

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Defining Short- and Long-Term TravelTo the Editor:The words “short-term” and “long-term” travelare used casually in travel medicine but can have impor-tant implications with regard to health recommendations,such as immunizations.Recently, the International Soci-ety of Travel Medicine queried 25 travel health clinicsfrom its Geosentinel Surveillance Network for theirmost commonly used definition of “short-term travel”in order to better define this term for the 2001–2002 edi-tion of Health Information for International Travel (the“Yellow Book”).A total of 18 travel health experts from around theworld replied for a response rate of 72%. Respondentswere given four definitions for short-term travel: less than3 weeks, less than 4 weeks, less than 3 months, and other(specify). Seven respondents (39%) defined short-termtravel as less than 3 weeks, seven (39%) defined it as lessthan 4 weeks, three (17%) defined it as less than 3 months,and one as other (5%).Given the range of responses andthe lack of consensus among the responses,we removedthe terms short- and long-term travel from Health Infor-mation for International Travel, when possible, and definedthe length of time in each instance in which those termspreviously had been used.Although the responses from this query cannot be gen-eralized to all travel health practitioners, it does highlightthe wide range of responses among a select group of travelhealth experts and could indicate a need to either definethe terms in the context in which they are being usedor replace the terms with the exact travel time.Julie A. Bettinger, MPH, EpidemiologistDivision of Global Migration and QuarantineCenters for Disease Control and PreventionPhyllis E. Kozarsky, MD, ChiefTraveler’s Health, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionGeosentinel SitesGeosentinel Surveillance NetworkCORRESPONDENCE1 1 1Zambian meat market. Submitted by Davidson Hamer, MD. by guest on February 4, 2016http://jtm.oxfordjournals.org/Downloaded from 


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