Medicine: Epidemics by Air

A traveler exposed to cholera in Naples can land in New York the next day without realizing that he has picked up the disease. A homeward-bound Denverite may leave a typhus area in China, sit down at his own table two days later, unaware that typhus germs are at work in his system. Because the incubation period for many diseases is a fortnight or longer, air travel has multiplied the chances of travelers' bringing disease home with them. Yet the quarantine system has scarcely changed in 500 years.*

A case in point: a smallpox outbreak in Seattle (TIME, April 8), touched off...

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