Global Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases

Global Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases Climatic factors influence the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases, in addition to multiple human, biological, and ecological determinants. Climatologists have identified upward trends in global temperatures and now estimate an unprecedented rise of 2.0°C by the year 2100. Of major concern is that these changes can affect the introduction and dissemination of many serious infectious diseases. The incidence of mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria, dengue, and viral encephalitides, are among those diseases most sensitive to climate. Climate change would directly affect disease transmission by shifting the vector's geographic range and increasing reproductive and biting rates and by shortening the pathogen incubation period. Climate-related increases in sea surface temperature and sea level can lead to higher incidence of water-borne infectious and toxin-related illnesses, such as cholera and shellfish poisoning. Human migration and damage to health infrastructures from the projected increase in climate variability could indirectly contribute to disease transmission. Human susceptibility to infections might be further compounded by malnutrition due to climate stress on agriculture and potential alterations in the human immune system caused by increased flux of ultraviolet radiation. Analyzing the role of climate in the emergence of human infectious diseases will require interdisciplinary cooperation among physicians, climatologists, biologists, and social scientists. Increased disease surveillance, integrated modeling, and use of geographically based data systems will afford more anticipatory measures by the medical community. Understanding the linkages between climatological and ecological change as determinants of disease emergence and redistribution will ultimately help optimize preventive strategies. (JAMA. 1995;275:217-223) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Global Climate Change and Emerging Infectious Diseases

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1996.03530270057032
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Climatic factors influence the emergence and reemergence of infectious diseases, in addition to multiple human, biological, and ecological determinants. Climatologists have identified upward trends in global temperatures and now estimate an unprecedented rise of 2.0°C by the year 2100. Of major concern is that these changes can affect the introduction and dissemination of many serious infectious diseases. The incidence of mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria, dengue, and viral encephalitides, are among those diseases most sensitive to climate. Climate change would directly affect disease transmission by shifting the vector's geographic range and increasing reproductive and biting rates and by shortening the pathogen incubation period. Climate-related increases in sea surface temperature and sea level can lead to higher incidence of water-borne infectious and toxin-related illnesses, such as cholera and shellfish poisoning. Human migration and damage to health infrastructures from the projected increase in climate variability could indirectly contribute to disease transmission. Human susceptibility to infections might be further compounded by malnutrition due to climate stress on agriculture and potential alterations in the human immune system caused by increased flux of ultraviolet radiation. Analyzing the role of climate in the emergence of human infectious diseases will require interdisciplinary cooperation among physicians, climatologists, biologists, and social scientists. Increased disease surveillance, integrated modeling, and use of geographically based data systems will afford more anticipatory measures by the medical community. Understanding the linkages between climatological and ecological change as determinants of disease emergence and redistribution will ultimately help optimize preventive strategies. (JAMA. 1995;275:217-223)

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Jan 17, 1996

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