The research cum service unit Division of Infectious Diseases develops and conducts its own innovative research projects on infectious diseases and travel medicine issues. It serves as one of two international WHO Collaborating Centres for Travel Medicine and contributes to the leading global travel medicine networks (GeoSentinel, EuroTravNet and TropNet). The unit also conducts clinical trials on novel products in vaccinology and management of infectious diseases. Further, it acts as a reference center for vaccination coverage in Switzerland, epidemiological outbreak investigations, and travel advice recommendations for the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health. Embedded in national and international networks of travel and tropical medicine institutions, it contributes to the surveillance and management of imported infectious diseases in Switzerland and at the international level.
A showcase for the University of Zurich, the division’s Travel Clinic is the largest in Switzerland and enjoys a long history, including the creation of a new discipline in medicine. A team of physicians, pharmacists, and other health and administrative staff offers pre-travel advice and vaccinations to the general public of the region with an integrated research cum service approach. The unit contributes to the development of innovative travel medicine research in order to target and enhance the high quality of Swiss and international travel medicine recommendations through networking and leadership.
Teaching and training of health personnel at all levels and in academia are a key activity of the division. Media work is another important task of the division, given the attractiveness of (imported) infectious diseases in Switzerland, whose population has the world’s highest travel rate.