Funded by the US CDC in 1996, GeoSentinel has grown from a group of eight US-based travel and tropical medicine centers to a global network, which currently consists of 68 sites in 28 countries. GeoSentinel has provided important contributions that have enhanced the ability to use destination-specific differences to guide diagnosis and treatment of returning travelers, migrants, and refugees. During the last two decades, GeoSentinel has identified a number of sentinel infectious disease events including previously unrecognized outbreaks and occurrence of diseases in locations thought not to harbor certain infectious agents. GeoSentinel has also provided useful insight into illnesses affecting different traveling populations such as migrants, business travelers, and students, while characterizing in greater detail the epidemiology of infectious diseases such as typhoid fever, leishmaniasis, and Zika virus disease.
Surveillance of travel- and migration-related infectious diseases has been the main focus of GeoSentinel for the last 25 years. However, GeoSentinel is now evolving into a network that will conduct both research and surveillance. The large number of participating sites and excellent geographic coverage for identification of both common and illnesses in individuals who have traversed international borders uniquely position GeoSentinel to make important contributions of travel-related infectious diseases in the years to come.
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