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Dutch travelers in the global village:

Femke Wendy Overbosch

People around the world are more connected than ever. In many aspects the world has turned into one large global village. This globalization, including the enormous increase in the number of travelers in the past decades, has contributed to the rapid spread of several infectious disease -such as swine flu, chikungunya, Zika and COVID-19- across the world. Globalization increasingly requires a global approach, also within infectious disease control, for example in the eradication of smallpox. Travel medicine -aimed at the prevention of diseases in travelers- and public health have therefore become more interdependent, and an integrated infectious diseases control approach has become becoming increasingly important. The overall aim of this thesis is to increase knowledge of the epidemiology of travel-related infectious diseases among individual travelers in the context of a fast-changing, interconnected world. The first part focuses on studies estimating the risk of infection among travelers from the Netherlands during long-term travel and travel to Suriname. The second part describes cases of imported infection, including the assessment and management of the risks and the public health measures taken. We concentrated on a selection of infectious diseases that are currently not or low endemic in the Netherlands and for most a vaccine or treatment is lacking: the arthropod-borne viral diseases dengue, Zika, and chikungunya, the rodent-borne viral disease Lasa fever, fecal-orally transmitted hepatitis E and the helminth infections schistosomiasis, filariasis strongyloidiasis and toxocariasis.


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