Infectious diseases worsen due to climate hazards, such as drought

Infectious diseases worsen due to climate hazards, such as drought

Washington. Climate hazards such as floods, heat waves and drought have worsened more than half of hundreds of known infectious diseases in people, including malaria, hantavirus, cholera and anthrax, according to a study.

The researchers reviewed the medical literature of established cases of disease and found that 218 of 375 known human infectious diseases, or 58 percent, appeared to be worsened by one of 10 types of extreme weather linked to climate change, according to a paper published yesterday. in Nature Climate Change.

Physicians dating back to Hippocrates have long linked disease to the weather, but this study shows just how pervasive its influence on human health is.

If the climate is changing, the risk of these diseases alsosaid Jonathan Patz, director of the Institute for Global Health at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and co-author of the study.

Physicians, like Patz, argued that they should think of illness as symptoms of a sick Earth.

The findings of this study are frightening and well illustrate the enormous consequences of climate change on human pathogens.added Carlos del Rio, an infectious disease specialist at Emory University, who was not part of the study. As specialists in infectious diseases and microbiology, we must make climate change one of our priorities, and work together to prevent what will undoubtedly be a catastrophe as a result of climate change..

In addition to looking at infectious diseases, the researchers broadened their search to look at all kinds of human ailments, including non-infectious ones like asthma, allergies, and even animal bites, to see how many might be linked to weather hazards in some way.

They found a total of 286 unique ailments, and of those, 223 appeared to be made worse by weather hazards, nine were diminished by weather hazards and 54 had both aggravated and minimized cases, the research revealed.

The new study doesn’t make the estimates to attribute changes, probabilities or magnitude of specific diseases to climate change, but finds cases where extreme weather was one likely factor among many. The study mapped the 1,060 connections between climate hazard and disease.

The study’s lead author, Camilo Mora, a climate data analyst at the University of Hawaii, explained that it’s important to note that the study isn’t about predicting future events. There is no speculation here. They are things that already happenedhe indicated.

Mora shared one of her experiences: about five years ago, her house in rural Colombia was flooded and for the first time in her memory there was water in her living room, creating an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, and contracted chikungunya, a nasty virus spread by mosquito bites. Although he survived, he still feels pain in his joints years later.

Sometimes climate change acts in strange ways. Mora includes the 2016 case in Siberia, when a decades-old reindeer carcass, killed by anthrax, was unearthed when permafrost thawed from warming, a child touched it, gave him anthrax, and an outbreak began.

Mora initially wanted to look up medical cases to see how Covid-19 intersects with climate hazards. He found cases where extreme weather exacerbated and decreased the chances of the disease. In some cases, extreme heat in poor areas caused people to congregate to cool off and expose themselves to illness, but in other situations, heavy downpours reduced the spread of Covid because people stayed home, away from others.

By Editor

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