COVID-19 infection among international travelers: A prospective analysis

BMJ OpenLunney M, Ronksley PE, Weaver RG, et al. | June 25, 2021

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A prospective analysis of international asymptomatic travelers entering Alberta, Canada was designed to calculate the risk of COVID-19 importation and secondary transmission associated with a modified quarantine program in Canada. The research enrolled 9,535 international travelers entering Alberta by air (N=8398) or land (N=1,137) that voluntarily enrolled in the Alberta Border Testing Pilot Program (a subset of all travelers); most (83.1%) were Canadian citizens. 21.5 per 1000 international travelers tested positive for COVID-19. Researchers observed that most, 69%, tested positive on arrival and 31% tested positive during follow-up. These outcomes imply the need for ongoing vigilance in travelers testing negative on arrival and indicate the value of follow-up testing and contact tracing to monitor and limit secondary transmission where possible.

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