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May 1, 1996

Journal of Travel Medicine

Author Affiliations

State University of New York at Buffalo

JAMA. 1996;275(17):1366. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530410080042

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The health consequences of travel are not a new concern for the bipedal wanderer. The author of The Practical Physician for Travellers (1729) states this age-old problem thus:

The Places we travel through, the Change of Air, the universal Diet we meet with, the various sorts of Liquor, the Seasons of Travelling, our sitting up late, and rising early, the various Fatigues of our mind, and so many accidental and unaccustomed Changes, do Travellers, even if they be Princes, meet with, that it is impossible almost for them to bear them without Injury.

It is something of a surprise, therefore, that the health of travelers has only recently emerged as a special area of medical expertise. In the past, tropical medicine and the study of infectious diseases subsumed travel medicine. The spectacular advances and expansion of travel over the past century, however, have enlarged the scope of knowledge and experience