DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

Travelers to Mexico - Health Warning

"Laboratory testing for the cause of the illness is ongoing; however, initial tests indicate that the illness is probably histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus and primarily affects the lungs. The disease is not transmitted from an infected person to someone else. Persons concerned about this outbreak should contact their health care professional or state health department for more information."

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Frederick Hecht, MD, FAAP
Editor, MedicineNet.com


Acute Respiratory Illness Among U.S. Travelers to Mexico

April 6, 2001 - The Mexico Ministry of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are investigating an outbreak of acute respiratory illness among U.S. travelers returning from Acapulco, Mexico, during March.

The source of the exposure has not yet been determined. However, preliminary information has revealed that all ill persons either stayed in or spent time on the premises of the Calinda Beach Hotel in Acapulco.

This cluster of illness was reported to CDC after a number of U.S. university students, who traveled to Acapulco during March, sought medical care for acute respiratory illness, with symptoms that included high fever, headache, dry cough, and chills. Laboratory testing for the cause of the illness is ongoing; however, initial tests indicate that the illness is probably histoplasmosis. Histoplasmosis is a disease caused by a fungus and primarily affects the lungs. The disease is not transmitted from an infected person to someone else.

U.S. travelers to Acapulco during March, especially students who visited or stayed at the Calinda Beach Hotel, should consult their primary health care professionals if symptoms develop. CDC has contacted all 50 state epidemiologists to begin identifying other possible persons with acute respiratory illness who recently traveled to Acapulco. Persons concerned about this outbreak should contact their health care professional or state health department for more information.

(Source: Center for Disease Control, Traveler's Health, http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/index.htm)


Last Editorial Review: 4/10/2001