Health & Medical Vaccinations

Vaccination Considerations for Business Travelers

Vaccination Considerations for Business Travelers

Business Travel & Illness

Compared with research on general travelers, relatively few studies have focused specifically on those who travel overseas for work. However, data suggest that business travelers have similar overall rates of travel-related illness as other types of travelers. In a study among 226 travelers from the Coca Cola Company (GA, USA), 35% developed diarrhea and 29% reported respiratory illnesses, with 12% seeking medical attention for their problems. According to reports from GeoSentinel, approximately 14% of all people who present unwell post-travel state business as the reason for their trip. This indicates that business travelers are not over-represented among returned travelers who present with illness for specialized medical care. For some diagnoses, such as fever, malaria and respiratory illness, data specifically confirm business travelers to have no greater risk of presentation post-travel than other traveler types. On the other hand, business travel per se appears to be a risk for other infections, notably influenza and sexually transmitted infections. The monthly incidence rate of symptomatic hepatitis B among international travelers has been cited to be 25 per 100,000 based on a prospective study that identified two cases that had traveled for work, whereas no definitive travel-associated case was diagnosed among tourists. Psychological stress, high alcohol consumption, fatigue, injuries and accidents have also been reported to be more common among business travelers. Finally, hepatitis A leads to an average loss of 9–12 days of work, with employers incurring an estimated 29% of the cost.

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