Friday, March 13, 2009

Global Warming and Disease

As we touched on in class, here are some issues concerning infectious disease and global warming:

  1. As Prof. Latto stated in lecture, insects (mosquitoes and ticks) are greatly affected by temperature. Therefore, as the temperature increases in high altitude and lower temperature areas, new epidemics of malaria may be seen in places never before affected due to the environmental changes.

  2. The flu season could be lengthen. As of now, tropical areas experience year-round influenza. As heat and tropical weather expands from the equator, more regions of the world may be susceptible to year-round influenza.]

  3. Risk to water supply. As natural catastrophes (typhoons, hurricanes, and other extreme weather) become more common and devastating, infrastructure gets damaged. With inadequate water supply and sanitation systems after extreme storms, the chances of an infectious disease spreading, such as cholera, increase greatly.

  4. Global warming will affect agriculture. With droughts and extreme weather, farmers will not be able to grow enough food to support themselves. Thus, they may move to the cities, creating a more dense cities for diseases to invade, especially in third world countries.

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