New Clinic At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Specializes In Diagnosing And Treating Infectious Diseases In Babies Adopted From Abroad

November 23, 1998

LOS ANGELES (November 23, 1998) - When Andrew and Allison Sievers adopted a baby from Vietnam at the end of October, they wanted to be sure he was healthy and that his vaccinations were current, accurate and complete. The couple, previously from Los Angeles and currently living in Tokyo, brought 5-month-old Evan to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases is developing a clinic specializing in internationally adopted babies.

"We had wanted to adopt internationally and we knew that we were getting a child from a third-world country where the medical care was not nearly what it is here," said Allison. "We also knew that whatever medical information we received from the country had to be considered suspect because we've heard that they often use outdated vaccinations or they out-and-out lie about certain things."

Moshe Arditi, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Cedars-Sinai, said American families adopt about 10,000 children from abroad each year, with approximately 90 percent of those children coming from countries in Asia, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. "Infectious disease considerations are very important in these patients because many infections are asymptomatic -- diagnosis can only be made through screenings. Also, a history and physical exam should be performed when the children arrive in the United States."

According to Dr. Arditi, some studies show that infectious diseases may be found in as many as 60 percent of adopted children, depending on their country of origin. Because of the prevalence of such infections as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, cytomegalovirus, syphilis and HIV, particular attention should be paid to those screenings, as well as tests to rule out a variety of intestinal parasites.

"Since international adoptees frequently are not immunized or they are under-immunized, they should receive necessary vaccinations based on the current recommendations in the United States," said Dr. Arditi.

Except for suffering from scabies, ringworm and eczema, little Evan -- whose legal name at the present time is Tran Van Loi -- was found to be in excellent health. Allison said she and her husband were committed to dealing with any diseases Evan might have, but they were relieved when they got the good news.

"I trust the results. It's not like the results from a foreign country whose medical care you don't understand," said Allison. "We live in Tokyo and the medical care in Tokyo is just different. Since we don't speak Japanese fluently at all, we wanted to make sure that we had him checked out by a doctor whose nuances we completely understood."

Because they expect to return to Los Angeles in a few years, they wanted to come back here for Evan's exam. Allison said that after trying to find "somebody who specialized in this kind of stuff" without success, she found out about the pediatric infectious disease specialists at Cedars-Sinai through a friend of a friend. Evan became the first baby seen in the clinic, which specializes in internationally adopted children but also includes a component for local children whose families plan to travel abroad.

"When we adopted Evan, there were two other families who were adopting at the same time," Allison said. "They had talked to their local pediatricians and were going home and going to their pediatricians. That was fine, but it never occurred to me to just go to a pediatrician because I assumed Evan would have something that a general pediatrician might not be able to identify. I didn't want to spend six months trying to figure out what the problem was."

While examination of children and the screening tests for infectious diseases are not necessary immediately after arrival in the United States, Dr. Arditi recommends they be performed within the first two weeks to help protect the baby, the family and the local community. However, parents should notify their physicians when the child arrives so that basic medical issues can be reviewed, and they can be alerted to potential infectious diseases such as scabies or lice.
-end-
For information about the clinic for internationally adopted children, parents may call Cedars-Sinai's Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at (310) 855-4471.

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS:
Moshe Arditi, M.D., director of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

For media information and to arrange an interview, please call 1-800-396-1002. (Editors, Reporters: Please do not publish this number in your story. It is exclusively for media use.)
-end-


Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Related Infectious Diseases Articles from Brightsurf:

Understanding the spread of infectious diseases
Physicists at M√ľnster University (Germany) have shown in model simulations that the COVID-19 infection rates decrease significantly through social distancing.

Forecasting elections with a model of infectious diseases
Election forecasting is an innately challenging endeavor, with results that can be difficult to interpret and may leave many questions unanswered after close races unfold.

COVID-19 a reminder of the challenge of emerging infectious diseases
The emergence and rapid increase in cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus, pose complex challenges to the global public health, research and medical communities, write federal scientists from NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Certain antidepressants could provide treatment for multiple infectious diseases
Some antidepressants could potentially be used to treat a wide range of diseases caused by bacteria living within cells, according to work by researchers in the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine and collaborators at other institutions.

Opioid epidemic is increasing rates of some infectious diseases
The US faces a public health crisis as the opioid epidemic fuels growing rates of certain infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, heart infections, and skin and soft tissue infections.

Infectious diseases could be diagnosed with smartphones in sub-Saharan Africa
A new Imperial-led review has outlined how health workers could use existing phones to predict and curb the spread of infectious diseases.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Experts warn of a surge in vector-borne diseases as humanitarian crisis in Venezuela worsens
The ongoing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela is accelerating the re-emergence of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, Chagas disease, dengue, and Zika virus, and threatens to jeopardize public health gains in the country over the past two decades, warn leading public health experts.

Glow-in-the-dark paper as a rapid test for infectious diseases
Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (The Netherlands) and Keio University (Japan) present a practicable and reliable way to test for infectious diseases.

Math shows how human behavior spreads infectious diseases
Mathematics can help public health workers better understand and influence human behaviors that lead to the spread of infectious disease, according to a study from the University of Waterloo.

Many Americans say infectious and emerging diseases in other countries will threaten the US
An overwhelming majority of Americans (95%) think infectious and emerging diseases facing other countries will pose a 'major' or 'minor' threat to the U.S. in the next few years, but more than half (61%) say they are confident the federal government can prevent a major infectious disease outbreak in the US, according to a new national public opinion survey commissioned by Research!America and the American Society for Microbiology.

Read More: Infectious Diseases News and Infectious Diseases Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.