Globalization of infectious diseases: the impact of migration

Clin Infect Dis. 2004 Jun 15;38(12):1742-8. doi: 10.1086/421268. Epub 2004 May 20.


With up to 2% of the world's population living outside of their country of birth, the potential impact of population mobility on health and on use of health services of migrant host nations is increasing in its importance. The drivers of mobility, the process of the international movement, and the back-and-forth transitioning between differential risk environments has significance for the management of infectious diseases in migrant receiving areas. The management issues are broad, high-level, and cross-cutting, including policy decisions on managing the migration process for skilled-labor requirements, population demographic and biometric characteristics, and family reunification; to program issues encompassing health care professional education, training, and maintenance of competence; communication of global events of public health significance; development of management guidelines, particularly for nonendemic diseases; access to diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for exotic or rare clinical presentations; and monitoring of health service use and health outcomes in both the migrant and local populations.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Disease Control*
  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Diseases / transmission
  • Emigration and Immigration*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • Travel*