Reactivation of infections

It is COMMON for travellers to consider their most recent trip the one during which they picked up some unusual infection, but unknown to many travellers and their doctors, some infections can lie dormant in the body and present years or decades later. 

In fact, risk of reactivation of infection may remain lifelong for some infections. 

Often reactivation occurs when the individual becomes immune suppressed due to illness or medication. 

Table 1 lists some infections that may be associated with lifelong risk of reactivation, which means they may present for the first time many years after the original, often forgotten or unrecognised exposure. 

There will also be other conditions (“others” in the table) that can be included in the list, but those listed are often the main ones considered when discussing this issue with travellers.

In order to diagnose these conditions, the first step is to