How Climate Change Is Affecting The Spread Of Infectious Diseases Around The Globe

1631 WordsMar 30, 20177 Pages
Currently, one of the major problems in the world is the rapid change of our climate. Years of research and studies have linked climate change to the spreading and occurrence of many infectious diseases. Vectors and pathogens that were not able to spread to certain countries before because temperatures were too low for them to survive in are now being able to habituate these parts of the world because of how much warmer our planet is becoming. This is concerning to us because infectious diseases can increase death rates. Therefore, if our planet continues to get warmer, the more infectious diseases will spread, and the more humans will die. This research paper attempts to provide a better understanding on how diseases are spreading more…show more content…
In the southwest of the United states, coccidioides immitis and C posadasii, fungal pathogens that cause valley fever in humans, have usually been located in hot, dry states like California, Arizona, and Utah, but recently it has also moved to Washington State, which is considered a humid state. This situation shows how climate change is having an effect on this state by making it dryer and allowing these pathogens to habituate and spread here. Furthermore, in Arizona, the annual cases of valley fever increased from 33 to 43/100,000 people between 1998 and 2001 (Benjamin H., 2017). This was due to longer dry seasons caused by climate change, and windier storms that spread fungal spores. In addition, climate change can lead to droughts, causing crops and vegetation to dry out and eventually leaving humans with short amounts of food, leading to starvation. Starvation causes the body to become very weak making the immune system unable to fight viruses and diseases as efficiently, therefore humans become more susceptible to infectious diseases. A study conducted in the 1920s found that malaria was more prone to happen during these times of drought and starvation (Hay et al., 2002). Climate can also lead to heavier rainfall and flooding, which causes for rodents to inhabit houses searching for shelter and food. This can lead to transmission of hantavirus in humans, leading to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS).
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