AIM: To investigate the prevalence of tropical infections in immigrated patients hospitalized in 48 Italian operative units of infectious diseases during 2002. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Each participating center was requested to fill a questionnaire regarding the type of discharge diagnosis, the country of origin, and demographic features (age, sex, resident status, and inscription in the National Health Service) of each hospitalized immigrant. Data were received from 48 Italian infectious disease clinics, with a total of 2255 immigrants hospitalized during 2002. Among this population, we have evaluated the prevalence of patients affected by imported tropical diseases. RESULTS: Imported tropical diseases were found in 120 patients, representing 6% of the total of immigrated hospitalized patients. The prevalent disease was malaria (95 cases, 79.2%), followed by schistosomiasis (15 cases, 12.5%), amebiasis (8 cases, 6.6%), and dengue (2 cases, 1.6%). The patients affected by malaria (90 cases of infection by Plasmodium falciparum, 4 by Plasmodium vivax, and one by Plasmodium malaria) come principally from Africa (90%). CONCLUSIONS: The range of health problems in immigrants often became broad after their arrival in Italy and included infectious diseases, such as human immunodeficiency virus infection, tuberculosis, and viral hepatitis, which reflect their poor conditions in life.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)