Acute diarrhea in North American students after relocation to Israel: A pilot study

Eyal Meltzer*, Lara Weiss, Mollie Lobl, Eyal Leshem, Shmuel Stienlauf

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Travelers' diarrhea (TD) is frequently encountered in people traveling from high-income to low-income countries; however, its epidemiology in those traveling between high-income countries is not known. Objectives: To evaluate the incidence of diarrhea in North American students relocating to Israel. Methods: A retrospective cohort study involving medical students from the United States and Canada relocating to Israel was conducted. Students who relocated to Israel during 2010-2016 were contacted by email to participate in an anonymous survey. Data included demographic information as well as occurrence, timing, duration, and outcome of diarrhea after relocation. Results: Ninety-seven students participated in the survey. Most (93.7%) students relocated from the United States or Canada. The period-prevalence of diarrhea was 69.1%. The incidence of diarrhea declined from 34.8 cases per 100 student-months during the first month after relocation to 1.3 cases per 100 student-months after 1 year. The duration of diarrhea was up to 1 week in 72.7%. Students who reported diarrhea were younger than students who did not (mean age 24.0 ± 2.2 and 28.4 ± 1.8 years, respectively, P < 0.001). No other demographic parameter was significantly associated with a higher likelihood of diarrhea. Conclusions: A high proportion of North American medical students relocating to Israel reported diarrhea with clinical and epidemiological features similar to classic TD. Further studies are needed to elucidate the causative agents of TD in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-541
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume21
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Diarrhea
  • Israel
  • Travel
  • Travelers' diarrhea

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