Knowledge and Attitudes About Travel Medicine in Latin America in the Context of COVID-19: A Cross-sectional Study

Document Type : Original Article


1 Laboratório de Pesquisa em Imunização e Vigilância em Saúde (LIVS), Instituto Nacional de Infectologia Evandro Chagas, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

2 Ciencias de la Salud, Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

3 Escuela de Enfermería, EDP University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Puerto Rico



Introduction: Travel Medicine specialty has existed in Latin American for more than 25 years. The creation of the Latin American Society of Travel Medicine (SLAMVI) stimulated medical education in this discipline, through research and scientific publications. However, Travel Medicine is practically unknown to Latin Americans.
Methods: Latin Americans (n=9487) completed an online survey of ten questions from nine countries of the region to determine the knowledge of the population about the existence of this specialty and their attitudes about it.
Results: Although more than 90% of those surveyed knew that traveling to certain countries requires to receive certain vaccines, less than 30% had heard of the specialty of Travel Medicine. After knowing the definition and objectives of the specialty, more than 90% of the participants considered it important to carry out a pre-travel consultation with a specialist.
Conclusion: The lack of knowledge of the specialty is the main barrier to Latin Americans to have access to Travel Medicine consultation. It is necessary to publicize the specialty, make the population aware of the importance of pre- and post-travel consultation, as well as the creation of this service in more public hospitals in Latin America.