Analysis of the Health Statement of Inbound International Passengers
2000 Vol.16 NO.5
Christopher Columbus, in 1942, in an attempt to locate a small island in the Indian Ocean and hoping to open up a safe sea route between Europe and Asia, accidentally discovered two continents not listed on the map, North and South Americas (1) Though the discovery of the new continents was a remarkable achievement, it was, to the indigenous and population of that time, a public health catastrophe. American Indians died of the thousands by diseases thus far unknown to them, such as smallpox and the plague. brought in by the alien ships; the European took with them back to Europe the disease of vice, syphilis. Syphilis was later brought by Portuguese merchants to China in the early 16th century via Canton. This history is also a history of the transmission of diseases around the world. With more frequent and rapid international travel today, by jet planes and modem cruisers, pathogens and vectors can traverse international boundaries in a matter of a few hours.