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Evaluation of fever in the returning traveler

Mary Elizabeth Wilson, MD
Section Editor
Karin Leder, MBBS, FRACP, PhD, MPH, DTMH
Deputy Editor
Elinor L Baron, MD, DTMH


The evaluation of fever in returned travelers should focus on the possible infections given the patient's clinical findings, travel geography, administration (if any) of vaccinations and malaria chemoprophylaxis, the nature and timeframe of potential exposure(s), and the incubation period(s) of the relevant possible infections (table 1) [1].

Good resources that provide current information about the infections that occur in various geographic areas are essential [2-4]. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website includes an online version of Health Information for International Travel under Travelers' Health and updates on travel-related infections [4]. The World Health Organization website also has regularly updated information about outbreaks.

The approach to evaluation of fever in the returning traveler will be reviewed here. Other issues related to travel are discussed separately:

(See "Travel advice".)

(See "Immunizations for travel".)

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Literature review current through: Oct 2017. | This topic last updated: Jul 07, 2017.
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  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Information for International Travel 2018: The Yellow Book. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/yellowbook-home (Accessed on June 20, 2017).
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  15. Chen LH, Wilson ME, Schlagenhauf P. Controversies and misconceptions in malaria chemoprophylaxis for travelers. JAMA 2007; 297:2251.
  16. Reyburn H, Behrens RH, Warhurst D, Bradley D. The effect of chemoprophylaxis on the timing of onset of falciparum malaria. Trop Med Int Health 1998; 3:281.
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