Every year Christian pilgrims from around the world visit the holy sites located around the Sea of Galilee. Somebecome ill during their stay with infectious diseases that were acquired in their country of origin, and are hospitalized at Poriya Medical Center. They pose a diagnostic challenge due to language barriers, the rarity of these infections in Israel, and the fact that diagnostic tests are not readily available. All patient records from 2015 of Holy Land tourists hospitalized at Poriya Medical Center were screened for the diagnosis of imported zoonotic diseases that are not commonly diagnosed in Israel. Three patients who were on a Holy Land tour were hospitalized during 2015 with laboratory-confirmed diagnostically challenging zoonotic infectious diseases: A 91-year-old priest from Ethiopia diagnosed with relapsing fever due to Borrelia recurrentis, an 85-year-old retired mountaineer from New Hampshire diagnosed with human granulocytic anaplasmosis, and a 57-year-old farmer from central Brazil diagnosed with leptospirosis. These case reports emphasize the importance of considering imported zoonotic infectious diseases and obtaining appropriate diagnostic tests when treating Holy Land travelers to Israel.
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© 2017 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.