Mounting evidence links global warming to the spread of disease

Climate change and communicable disease: what are the risks?

From Journal of Infection Prevention

There is an increasing amount of evidence acknowledging that infectious diseases are associated with heatwaves, storms, floods, fires, and droughts. While we are often made aware of the detrimental effects of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, ecosystems and economies, these in turn will have an impact on health and well being that should also be considered. This article outlines the risks and calls for policies to be implemented to facilitate disease prevention and control.

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The potential impacts of climate change have been well documented. It is suggested that these impacts will include changes to the environment and ecosystems, including that of the UK. Environmental change could in turn lead to changes in the epidemiology of communicable disease within the UK. It has been argued that healthcare professionals, including those responsible for the control of communicable diseases, should discuss and be involved in the protection of the environment and in promoting public health through efforts to prevent, mitigate and adapt to climate change. In this paper we outline current and potential risks regarding communicable disease and climate change in the UK; we focus on three main areas, water-, vector- and food-borne disease, and the adaptation to and mitigation of the effects of climate change.

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Article details:
Nichols, A., Richardson, J., & Maynard, V. (2010). Climate change and communicable disease: what are the risks? Journal of Infection Prevention, 11 (5), 146-148 DOI: 10.1177/1757177410364869

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