Morbidity of Returning Travelers Seen in Community Urgent Care Centers throughout Israel †

Eyal Itzkowitz, Evan A. Alpert, Abdulhadi Z. Farojeh, Deena R. Zimmerman, Eli Schwartz*, Tamar Lachish

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Information regarding post-travel morbidity is usually reported via dedicated post-travel clinics and mainly relates to travelers returning from low–middle-income countries (LMIC), however, the spectrum of morbidity seen within the community setting is scarcely reported. This prospective observational study among visitors to 17 community Urgent Care Centers (UCC) was designed to evaluate the reasons for post-travel community clinic visits and to compare travelers returning from LMIC to high-income countries (HIC). All visitors within one-month post-travel to all destinations were included. A total of 1580 post-travel visits were analyzed during 25 months. Travelers to LMICs were younger (mean 36.8 years old vs. 41.4 in the HIC group) and stayed longer periods abroad (30.1 ± 41.2 vs. 10.0 ± 10.6 in the HIC group) but more of them had pre-travel vaccines (35.5% vs. 6.6%). Travel-related morbidity was significantly more common in the LMIC group 58.3% (253/434) vs. 34.1% (391/1146) in the HIC group, (p < 0.001). Acute diarrhea was the leading cause of morbidity after visiting LMIC (28.8%) and was significantly more common than in the HIC (6.6%, p < 0.001). Other common morbidities in the LMIC cohort were respiratory (23.3%), cutaneous (15.8%), and injuries (9.9%). In the HIC group, the common morbidities were respiratory (37.3%), and diarrhea composed only 6.6% of the complaints. Our study group represents a less biased sample of travelers to LMIC as well as HIC, therefore, data from the UCC setting and at the specialized travel clinics complete each other in understanding the true extent of morbidity in travelers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number319
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • diarrhea
  • high-income countries
  • injuries
  • low–middle-income countries
  • travel medicine
  • travel-related illness


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