The usual presentation of a returned traveller is with a particular syndrome — fever, respiratory infection, diarrhoea, eosinophilia, or skin or soft tissue infection — or for screening for asymptomatic infection.
Fever in a returned traveller requires prompt investigation to prevent deaths from malaria; diagnosis of malaria may require up to three blood films over 36–48 hours.
Diarrhoea is the most common health problem in travellers and is caused predominantly by bacteria; persistent diarrhoea is less likely to have an infectious cause, but its prognosis is usually good.
While most travel-related infections present within six months of return, some important chronic infections may present months or years later (eg, strongyloidiasis, schistosomiasis).
Travellers who have been bitten by an animal require evaluation for rabies prophylaxis.
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