MEET THE INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALISTS SEMINAR™ : UNWANTED SOUVENIRS: SEVERE TRAVEL RELATED INFECTIONS

MEET THE INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALISTS SEMINAR™ : UNWANTED SOUVENIRS: SEVERE TRAVEL RELATED INFECTIONS

Our fourth seminar in 2015 was held at the Viv Hall at the Farrer Park Medical Centre on September 26th afternoon. As the auditorium was small, we had to limit the number of participants. A total of 54 participants attended. This seminar used a case study format with audience participation via a voting system.

Dr Jaime Chien, Consultant at Department of Infectious Diseases, SGH was our first guest speaker. Her topic was “ Fever and Rash” in the returned traveler. She provided case studies and participants used the ‘voting pad’ to give their answers. Dr Chien then discussed the answers and provided information on the various infections that may present with fever and rash. The topics covered included malaria, chikungunya , Japanese Encephalitis, Rickettsial diseases , Viral hemorrhagic fevers, yellow fever, Ebola, meningitis, Neisseria meningitis. Finally she discussed the various vaccines that should be considered for travel.

Dr Lam Mun San spoke on “Fever, Headache, Seizures & Confusion’ and began with a case study of a Dutch Doctor travelling to various SE Asian countries on a backpacking tour. The participants were encouraged to provide differential diagnoses. Dr Lam then continued with information on malaria including, types of species, the clinical presentation, diagnosis, drug treatment and prophylaxis types of effective repellents and how to optimize protection against mosquitoes and ticks and reduce the risk of diseases they transmit. Dr Lam then continued the lecture on the various forms of encephalitis (infective and non-infective) including Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever and Herpes Encephalitis.

Dr Wong Sin Yew started his lecture with an update on Mers CoV . He discussed how one patient infected with MERS CoV in South Korea created a web of transmission that involved 182 cases and more than 16,000 persons quarantined. Dr Wong also provided updates on the current treatment options for MERS CoV. Dr Wong then spoke on influenza and travel, and elaborated on the reported case of H7N9 in Malaysia and the numerous Influenza strains circulating in China . Emerging Respiratory Tract Infections were discussed including sources and transmission, the surveillance systems and how these emerging infections can impact on hospital operations.

Dr Shawn Vasoo covered the very important topic of ” Infection Control Issues in the Returned Traveller”. He advised on the required precautions to be taken for various types of infections including meningococcal disease and Ebola. Outpatient Infection Control was discussed, focusing on what GPs should do when they have patients who have suspected respiratory infections such as Avian Influenza. Dr Vasoo then covered travel related rashes from bed bugs and insect bites .

Finally the Q&A session was lively with many family practitioners engaging the speakers with numerous questions. Feedback from the family physicians given for this seminar was very positive and we plan to use this format for our upcoming seminars.

We would like to thank Sanofi for the support they provided for this seminar.