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Camilla Rothe
Being first to describe the transmission of COVID-19 before the onset of symptoms earned GeoSentinel Munich Site Director Dr. Camilla Rothe (seen above) placement on TIME Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People of 2020” list.

Improving Public Health Worldwide

The GeoSentinel Foundation was founded in October 2019 with a clear objective: to fund critical research that will reduce the spread of infectious diseases and other health challenges that can harm vulnerable populations or catalyze the next pandemic.

Primarily, the Foundation supports the work of GeoSentinel, a collaborative network originally created by the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Foundation also supports other projects that enhance global health at the local, regional, and international levels.

Through surveillance and research at 71 sites in 29 countries on six continents, the GeoSentinel Network detects disease trends and outbreaks in mobile populations, including tourists, business travelers, migrants, refugees, and victims of human trafficking.

Since 1995, the network has identified, tracked, and helped to mitigate infectious disease outbreaks including:

  • SARS
  • H1N1 influenza
  • Zika
  • COVID-19
  • mpox (formerly monkeypox)

The GeoSentinel Foundation now serves as the Network’s not-for-profit funding arm to ensure that some of the world’s most talented scientists have the resources and flexibility required to continue their critical work regionally and worldwide.


Enabled by generous donations, much of our first two years of work, starting in March 2020, focused on the COVID-19 pandemic:

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Testing new therapeutics for frontline clinicians
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Improving diagnostic strategies
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Developing a finger-stick test for severity of infection
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Using modern molecular diagnostic methods to study SARS-CoV-2 transmission in select groups

The GeoSentinel Network

GeoSentinel is the first and only network that identifies health risks in mobile populations, informing preventive measures to protect the health of travelers and local populations. Accomplishments include:

  • Identifying an outbreak of leptospirosis (a serious bacterial infection of the blood transmitted to humans from rodents) related to the Eco-Challenge in Borneo in 2000 and triggering a global response
  • Discovering the rare human muscular disease, sarcocystosis, among travelers to Malaysia in 2011
  • Identifying new areas of yellow fever transmission and infection among travelers to Brazil, which resulted in remapping the country’s yellow fever risk areas and updated preventive vaccine recommendations by the U.S. CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) through its regional partner, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
  • Identifying a Romanian traveler who acquired Plasmodium vivax malaria in Greece, contributing to the investigation of a possible resurgence of malaria transmission there and ultimately informing CDC malaria prophylaxis guidelines for U.S. travelers to the affected region.