Study finds 58% of infectious diseases are linked to climate threats

Study finds 58% of infectious diseases are linked to climate threats

Climate threats such as floods, heat waves and drought have increased hundreds of infectious diseases that afflict humans to more than half, including malaria, cholera, hantavirus and even anthrax, according to a study published Monday by Nature Climate Change.

Researchers ont discovered that 218 human infectious diseases (58% of the 375 diseases) appear to be aggravated by one of the 10 problems associated with climate change.

The study mapped 1006 pathways linking climate hazards to sick humans. In some cases, heavy rains or floods can allow mosquitoes or rats to infect humans. Warmer oceans and heat waves can contaminate the food we eat and bring viruses carried by bats.

Warming seas and heat waves can contaminate food. Viruses can be spread by bats during heat waves. This study shows how the climate can have a significant impact on human health, and it is not the first time that this has been observed.

The symptoms ofa sick planet

If the climate changes, the risk associated with these diseases changes, according to one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Jonathan Patz. The latter states that the climate can affect the spread of these diseases. Doctors like Dr. Patz say that the progression of these diseases should be seen as symptoms of a sick planet.

“The findings of this study are terrifying and illustrate the enormous consequences of climate change on human pathogens. Those of us who work in infectious disease and microbiology must make climate change a priority and we all need to work together to avoid what will undoubtedly be a catastrophe due to climate change,” reacted the Dr. Carlos del Rio, an Emory University infectious disease specialist who was not involved in this study.

The study’s lead author, Camilo Mora, who analyzes climate data at the University of Hawaii, stressed that the study does not predict the future: “There is no speculation at all. These are things that have happened before. »


In the case of COVID-19, Mora and his colleagues found that a heat wave can make the problem worse (if people gather somewhere they can cool off), but downpours can contain it (by forcing people to stay at home).

Some experts have questioned the study authors’ conclusions and methodology. However, other experts like Aaron Bernstein, acting director of the Center for Climate, Health and Global Environment at the Harvard School of Public Health, believe it’s a good climate and health warning. Dr. Bernstein says animals (and their diseases) may become closer and closer to humans. “We must fight climate change to avoid future disasters like COVID-19,” added Aaron Bernstein.


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