Authors: Douglas William MacPherson (McMaster University, Canada and Migration Health Consultants Inc.)
Global perspective – population mobility and infectious disease
William Osler, “It is much more important to know what sort of patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.”
The quote from William Osler underlies a basic interdependence between communicable diseases and the clinical practice of infectious diseases in a world of an ever increasing magnitude of population mobility. This crosses and re-crosses physical and political boundaries of disparity and differences in health determinants, and also crosses wide epidemiological gradients of disease risk. The traditional, simplified description of the determinants of health (socio-economic, biological, environmental and behavior) are strongly influenced by population mobility in all of its manifestations and influences; including animal and plant health, climate change and the environment.