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Infect Dis Clin North Am. 2012 Jun;26(2):195-205. doi: 10.1016/j.idc.2012.02.007. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Tropical diseases: definition, geographic distribution, transmission, and classification.

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Department of Infection, Division of Infection and Immunity, University College London Medical School, University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, London WC1E 6AJ, UK.


The term tropical diseases encompasses all diseases that occur principally in the tropics. This term covers all communicable and noncommunicable diseases, genetic disorders, and disease caused by nutritional deficiencies or environmental conditions (such as heat, humidity, and altitude) that are encountered in areas that lie between, and alongside, the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn belts. In tropical countries, apart from noncommunicable diseases, a severe burden of disease is caused by an array of different microorganisms, parasites, land and sea animals, and arthropods.

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