OBJECTIVE: Tropical neuroinfections are still cause of substantial mortality in travelers. Therefore, good knowledge of early symptoms is very important for nurses acting as first contact persons.
METHODS: Nurse's practical skills and knowledge of signs and early recognition of tropical neuroinfections, providing first aid and quick action has been studied among graduates of two Tropical Nursing PhD programs (in EU-Countries vs. tropical country) using a standardized questionnaire. Statistical package EPI info was used to determine potential differences between both groups of graduates.
RESULTS: Acceptable knowledge on early symptoms and signs of cerebral malaria and meningococcal meningitis in returning travelers was found among 121 graduates of two PhD programs who were included in the study. Of these, 99 questionnaires were filled in Slovakia, Czech Republic and Germany and another 22 were filled in Malaysia, as a part of the Tropical Nursing PhD Study Programs.
CONCLUSION: Nursing students and recent graduates in two PhD programs demonstrated acceptable, although not large-scaled, knowledge of early signs and symptoms of tropical neuroinfections.