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Agents 'put travellers at risk'

Travel companies are failing to offer essential health advice, putting thousands of holidaymakers at risk.

Tropical disease experts have criticised tour operators and airlines after they found less than half of travel companies mentioned malaria, despite promoting holidays to countries where the disease is rife. They believe a simple warning system in brochures and on airline tickets would save lives. Steve Green, professor of infectious diseases and tropical medicine at Sheffield's Royal Hallamshire Hospital, said: "British holidaymakers are increasingly choosing more exotic destinations yet many never see any type of health warning before they go. We believe the travel industry has a responsibility to warn passengers not to go on holiday until they have seen a doctor."

A spokeswoman for the Association of British Travel Agents said it was "inappropriate and unrealistic" for travel companies to give medical advice in case they were sued.