The Tyee has published my article For Viruses, Air Travel Ushers in a Golden Age. Excerpt:
For some bacteria and viruses, cheap, rapid air travel has ushered in a golden age. In 2003, SARS went from Hong Kong to Toronto in hours. In 2009, a flu outbreak in Mexico and the United States turned into a worldwide pandemic, carried in part by British schoolgirls on a holiday in Mexico. In 2010, cholera hitchhiked in the bowels of Nepalese peacekeepers all the way to Haiti, where in less than four years it has infected over 700,000 people and killed 8,500.
Chikungunya (pronounced chicken-GUN-ya) is the latest viral success story, but probably not the last. First identified in Tanzania in the early 1950s, it gradually spread into India and Southeast Asia. Now it's in the western hemisphere. It's not likely to become endemic in Canada, but Canadians travelling in the U.S. and Latin America could soon bring it home as an unwelcome souvenir, and its economic effects will be unwelcome also.