Climate change

Climate change increased the risk of spreading deadly viruses on Earth, claims in research

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With the increase in the average temperature of the Earth, ideal conditions are being created to spread virus-borne diseases around the world. This claim has been made in the annual research report of the Lancet journal. According to the report, these diseases could prove to be a significant setback due to climate change challenges because the health system’s preparedness globally does not seem to be able to deal with it.

If necessary steps are not taken to control climate change, efforts to prevent diseases like dengue, malaria, and cholera will be ruined. The world has been warned that these diseases can spread rapidly again. The report identifies 44 health indicators that are directly related to climate change.

Maria Romanello, director of research and co-author of the report, said that the situation has become critical due to the delay in efforts to control climate change. It should be understood that no one is safe from climate change.

Even developed countries are not safe:
The report said that the risk of spreading virus infection is increasing rapidly in developed countries. There is an increased risk of spreading the bacteria in northern Europe and America. Similarly, outbreaks of malaria may increase in other cold regions.

Fear of spreading bacteria
The coastal areas of the ocean have become warm enough for Vibrio bacteria to spread. Due to this, there is a fear of spreading this bacteria. 600 million people in the world live at an altitude of just five meters above sea level. People in such areas may be forced to migrate due to the increased risk of disease, floods, and severe storms.

The duration of malaria spread increased:
Similarly, in some poor countries, the seasonal duration of malaria outbreaks has increased significantly. This period has grown a lot today compared to the 1950s.

Deadly Heat Wave:
Climate change has increased the frequency and extent of heatwaves. This year, heatwaves in cold regions like the US, Canada, and Britain killed hundreds of people and shocked scientists.

According to the report, while there is talk of overcoming climate change, on the other hand, cheap fossil fuels are being promoted in 65 out of 84 countries. To this, UCLA Public Health Professor Dr. Richard Jackson quipped, “It appears that a critically ill patient is being treated by smoking cigarettes and feeding on junk food.”

What does past research say?
A recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) also clarified that rising Earth’s temperature is expanding the areas where other disease-carrying organisms, including mosquitoes, can live, leading to more malaria cases.

Due to the destruction of natural habitats due to floods, snowfall, or landslides, the possibility of spreading other zoonotic diseases (diseases transmitted from animal to human) is increasing. Similarly, the World Health Organization (WHO) report estimated that between 2030 and 2050, climate change alone is expected to cause about 250,000 additional deaths per year from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea, and heat.

Research conducted by Monash University also found that forest fires are increasing due to climate change. Climate change is not only affecting the fire season. It is also affecting physical and mental health. Stanford University biologist Erin Mordecai also found in her earlier research that the world is adapting to infectious disease-carrying organisms due to climate change. There will come a time when only mosquito-borne diseases will become challenging to control.