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March 10, 1999

Global Health at the CrossroadsSurgeon General's Report on the 50th World Health Assembly

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: US Surgeon General and Assistant Secretary for Health.

JAMA. 1999;281(10):942-943. doi:10.1001/jama.281.10.942

AS WITH THE ECONOMY, HEALTH HAS BECOME increasingly global. Never before has the health of the world's people been more interdependent and vital to American medicine and public health. The movement of 2 million people each day across national borders and the growth of international trade are inevitably associated with transfers of health risks, including infectious diseases, contaminated foodstuffs, terrorism, and toxic substances, be they legal or illegal.1 Owing to the ease of rapid international travel, emerging and drug-resistant infectious diseases in one country may pose a threat to the health and economies of all countries.2

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