Tierno said that, in the absence of such preventative steps, the threat is significant.
"I can say that airport malaria has occurred in the past and will occur in the future unless something is done about it," he said. "I don't think it would be a situation that would give rise to large numbers of individuals getting ill, judging on the past experience we have over decades of flying. But I do think it can get worse if air travel increases, which it might. So, I think the more significant thing is, you don't want any number of individuals coming down with airport malaria if you can help it."
For more on malaria, visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
SOURCES: James H. Diaz, M.D., M.P.H., tropical medicine, and program director, environmental and occupational health, Louisiana State University, New Orleans; Philip Tierno, M.D., Ph.D., director, clinical microbiology and immunology, New York University Medical Center, professor, microbiology and pathology, NYU School of Medicine, and author, The Secret Life of Germs and Protect Yourself Against Bioterrorism; Dec. 8, 2008, presentation, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene annual meeting, New Orleans
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