The Burden of Illness in International Travelers
N. Engl. J of Med Jan.12, 2006 V.354 N.2 P.115-117
David R. Hill, M.D., D.T.M.&H.
In 2004, 763 million people crossed international borders, reflecting an increase of 73 percent over the course of 15 years.1 International travel has rebounded since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and is steadily increasing despite a variety of global health crises, the threat of terrorism, and the war in Iraq.
Nearly 55 percent of travelers are vacationing, and about 15 percent are conducting business, but a growing number are visiting friends and relatives.
Typically, such travelers were born in a resource-poor country, now live in a resource-rich country, and are returning to their country of birth to visit.
Moreover, though most people travel voluntarily, thousands of uncounted travelers cross borders to flee war or persecution or to seek better opportunities.
During the past 25 years, a new specialty of travel medicine has evolved to address the health of these international travelers — particularly those who visit resource-poor regions.
Travel to these regions carries health risks and requires preventive measures that may be unfamiliar to many physicians……