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The Impact of Human Mobility on Disease Spread
Photo: CC0 Public Domain

Due to continual improvements in transportation technology, people travel more extensively than ever before. Although this strengthened connection between faraway countries comes with many benefits, it also poses a serious threat to disease control and prevention. When infected humans travel to regions that are free of their particular contagions, they might inadvertently transmit their infections to local residents and cause disease outbreaks. This process has occurred repeatedly throughout history; some recent examples include the SARS outbreak in 2003, the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009, and--most notably--the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Imported cases challenge the ability ...