The speed and frequency of modern travel has brought problems to the traveller that were less obvious in more leisurely days; these are both of an infectious and non-infectious nature and especially relevant to travel in tropical and subtropical areas.
Not everyone is at ease with air travel and travel sickness, anxiety, fatigue, and jet lag are experienced by many; sudden arrival in a new environment means adjustment to differences in heat, humidity and diet.
Infectious diseases are more prevalent in many hot countries and fall into three broad groups: (a) those where fever predominates, (b) where diarrhoea is the main feature, and (c) a miscellaneous group.
(a) Malaria, enteric fever, trypanosomiasis, leishmaniasis, typhus fever, brucellosis and a wide range of viral infections.
(b) Diarrhoea may vary from relatively mild travellers' diarrhoea to more serious dysentery. Other infections include cholera, salmonellosis, schistosomiasis and infections due to vibrios, protozoa and helminths.
(c) Miscellaneous infections include rabies, poliomyelitis, hepatitis and the sexually transmitted diseases.
To fully appreciate overseas travel the traveller must adopt sensible precautions before, during and after his journey. Practitioners must become familiar with the possibility of exotic illness and both under-graduate and post-graduate training take them into account.