Asymptomatic returned traveller

IN previous articles on the returned traveller, we have discussed fever and skin lesions.

When asymptomatic travellers present for medical assessment, following travel or residence in the tropics, they often request screening for exotic infections like parasites and worms. The request for testing may be quite specific. 

For example, a traveller may request tests for schistosomiasis (bilharzia) because of known high risk exposure and/or fellow travellers may have been diagnosed with schistosomiasis. 

Often, the traveller may just request a ‘general’ check-up to make sure no exotic tropical infection has been acquired.

It is also important to be aware of patients with delusional parasitosis who come seeking investigation and firmly believe they have parasitic infection despite multiple negative tests for the same.

As the doctor, you should first ask yourself: ‘Does this person really need a barrage of