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SDPA Summer 2017 Live Blog

SDPA Summer | Live Blog | Tropical Souvenirs: Bugs, Bites and Parasites

The morning sessions on day three of SDPA’s Annual Summer Dermatology Conference concluded with an enlightening survey of tropical disease by Dr. Ted Rosen. Dr. Rosen stated “exotic places equals exotic diseases” highlighting the importance of obtaining a travel history on our patients. With the globalization of mankind, we will continue to see an increased rate of tropical disease in patients in the US. Dr. Rosen explained the more people travel and the population increases, humans will come closer in contact with vectors. Tropical disease include infection, animal and insect bites, sun and heat conditions. 40% of travelers who present with tropical disease present after re-entry into the United States.

Dr. Rosen went on to discuss the presentation of Dengue fever. There have been 199 suspected cases in the US from travelers to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and Asia. Mosquito born viruses including Chikagunya and Zika were also reviewed. Did you know that active Zika virus can be recovered in semen for up to 6 months? Since up to 80% of those who have contracted the virus are asymptomatic, it is imperative to be aware of this finding particularly when applied to women of childbearing age. The rate of development of microcephaly is up to 13% in women who contract Zika in the first trimester. In addition to microcephaly, there are increased rates of miscarriage, congenital contractures, congenital ophthalmic and brain anomalies and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Up to 2% of military and civilian personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan present with Leishmaniasis. This is transmitted from the sand fly and can be diagnosed with PCR with 100% accuracy. Treatment for this condition should be guided with infection disease specialists due to the adverse effects of prescribed medications. Dr. Rosen also explained that amebiasis is very common in undeveloped countries and when patients present with persistent ulcers, this should be considered. Other additional conditions that were highlighted include Myiasis, Trypanosomiasis, Tungiasis, and Larva Migrans.


Byline: Sarah Patton, PA-C, MSHS

Posted: June 3, 2017

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