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Climate Change and Health by City Tech Blogger Jimmol Singh

Climate change is one of the biggest problems the world is facing right now. Although climate change occurs naturally over the century, due to anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gasses, uses of fossil fuels, and many other factors, it greatly affects different region of the earth causing a speedy change. As the earth grows warmer, the health of humans will be at high risk due to disease spreading and other related factors.

Climate Change effect of Vector-Borne Diseases

One of the types of diseases that will be affected due to Climate Change is Vector-Borne Diseases. Vector Borne diseases are infections that are transmitted by the bite of infected arthropod species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, or sandflies. There are many factors that influence the characteristics of Vector-Borne Diseases such as habitat destruction, land use, pesticide application, host density, and climate. In this case, the main focus will mainly consist of the effect climate change has on Vector-Borne Disease.

According to European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, “in turn influencing habitat suitability, distribution and abundance; intensity and temporal pattern of vector activity (particularly biting rates) throughout the year; and rates of development, survival, and reproduction of pathogens within vectors. However, the climate is only one of many factors influencing vector distribution, such as habitat destruction, land use, pesticide application, and host density.”  The rise in global temperature can lengthen seasons. As the global temperature increases, arthropod species like mosquitoes can travel in higher altitude causing them to travel farther distance than they normally do.

Warmer global temperature also means increased rainfall. Rainfall might sound good but it’s not, an increase in rainfall could lead to crop destruction and an increase in rainfall means that that the area will become more humid. A humid environment allows these insects to breed and the warmer the climate, the faster they breed. According to USA Today, “Strong floodwaters often wash away mosquito eggs, which would be good news. But mosquito eggs already laid in containers, such as empty buckets or tires, could be protected from surging water and then be stimulated to hatch after the flooding recedes, said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.” The chances of this happening again are not far-fetched and could definitely occur again.

Human Migration

With vector-borne disease increasing due to the rise in the global temperature, human migration will be strongly affected by this. Every day, people migrate from location to location. Species have adapted to their own environment making them immune to the threats the lies in that given area.  Humans will be affected by these diseases because their immune system has not for the most part been exposed to some of these types of diseases prompting them to become more likely to get sick. According to Climatenexus.org, “Human migration exposes people to viruses to which they are not immune. As populations migrate in response to climate change, they bring disease to new regions and urban areas. Infectious diseases spread more quickly in overcrowded urban areas”.  With the introduction of new disease into the environment and with people constantly traveling in urban environments, the chances of the disease spreading will be higher.

Other Health Issues Humans will face due to Climate Change.

There are a lot more health issues that are related due to the global temperature rise but here are a few facts from Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools regarding Climate change and human health: “As the ambient temperature of a region rises, it affects the region’s ecology and may create conditions in which populations of disease-carrying animals or insects can increase. Disease vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, flies and other insects in this variety, occur in greater numbers over longer periods during the year and expand the locations in which they thrive. Climate change also affects air movement and quality by increasing airborne allergens and pollution, thereby expanding or changing patterns of human exposure and resulting health effects. Extreme weather events due to climate change may cause people to experience geographic displacement, damage to their property, loss of loved ones, and chronic stress—all of which can negatively affect mental health. Populations already experiencing social, economic, and environmental disruption are particularly vulnerable to these effects.”

 

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