9 August 2022 – Climate hazards such as floods, heat waves and droughts have exacerbated the impact of more than half of the known infectious diseases, including anthrax. choleraand according to malaria, new research was announced in nature climate change.
Infectious diseases have long been associated with weather events and climate change, but scientists are beginning to understand the wider impact of extreme weather on human health.
“As the climate changes, so does the risk of these diseases,” said study author Jonathan Patz, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Global Health Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Associated Press
Patz and colleagues searched for real-world examples of the impact of ten greenhouse gas emission-sensitive climate hazards on known human diseases caused by bacteria.
The research team found that 218, or 58%, of the 375 infectious diseases found worldwide were exacerbated by climate disasters at some point. Real cases reveal 1,006 unique pathways through which climate hazards have led to these diseases.
In some cases, people became infected by carrying disease mosquito, rats, deer, after heavy rains and floods. In other cases, warmer seas and heat waves have led to contaminated seafood. viral infection among humans.
The way these diseases spread is “too much for comprehensive social adaptation, underscoring the urgent need to address the causes of the problem.” This means reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the study authors concluded.
The research team also expanded its search to look at all kinds of human illnesses, including non-communicable diseases such as: asthmaallergies, animal bites – find out how many health problems there are that may be linked to climate hazards in some way.
They found 286 endemic diseases, including 223 that appear to be exacerbated by climate issues. Another 54 diseases had cases exacerbated or mitigated by climate disasters, and nine decreased by climate change.
The study could not analyze changes in specific diseases due to climate change, such as increased risk or magnitude, the AP reported, but indicated that extreme weather is likely a contributing factor.
“There’s absolutely no speculation here,” lead study author Dr. Camilo Mora, a climate data analyst at the University of Hawaii, told AP. He pointed out an important highlight: The study did not predict future problems.
“These things have already happened,” he said.
Mora himself contracted Chikungunya. mosquitoafter his home in rural Colombia was flooded five years ago.
Mora also referred to an incident in Siberia in 2016. There, warming thawed the permafrost, and old reindeer carcasses were unearthed. A child came into contact with an anthrax corpse, and the child became infected with anthrax, beginning an outbreak in the area for the first time in 75 years.
According to the Associated Press, Mora originally wanted to study medical cases to understand how COVID-19 is linked to climate disasters. He said that as the extreme weather worsened, coronavirusIn some circumstances, extreme heat in poor areas forced people to gather to cool off, which led to exposure. In other cases, heavy rains reduced the likelihood of spread as people stayed indoors.
More research is needed to show a direct link between climate change and many infectious diseases, but public health experts told the AP that the study offers warnings about climate impacts and human health. I’m here.
“This study highlights how climate change loads the dice to foster unwelcome infectious surprises,” said interim director of the Center for Climate, Health and Global Environment at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Aaron Bernstein, M.D., told The Associated Press.
“But of course it’s only reporting what we already know, and what we don’t know about pathogens yet is that preventing further climate change will prevent future disasters like COVID-19.” It may be even more convincing as to how.
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