Global warming brings epidemics and diseases

Eng. Amjad Qasem

Studies indicate that global warming will have a direct impact on humans in terms of increasing the spread of epidemics among animals and plants, and this will be reflected in human health and life.

Studies conducted by specialists in the field of environment and biosciences have confirmed that global warming and climate change have significant impacts on the spread of diseases, especially vector-borne and water-borne diseases. Here are some ways global warming could affect the spread of disease:

1- Expanded habitats for disease vectors: Higher temperatures can expand the geographic range of disease-carrying vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. These vectors are responsible for transmitting diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, Lyme disease, and more. As temperature zones shift, these vectors may move to new areas where people and animals have not previously been exposed to these diseases.

2- Increased reproductive rates: Higher temperatures and longer warm seasons can lead to increased reproductive rates for disease vectors. For example, mosquitoes reproduce faster in warmer climates, causing them to become more numerous and increasing the chances of disease transmission.

3- Changing vector behavior: Changes in temperature and humidity can change the behavior and feeding patterns of disease vectors. This can affect the frequency and timing of disease transmission. For example, warmer temperatures may cause mosquitoes to feed more frequently, increasing the likelihood of disease transmission.

4- Changes in host-vector interactions: Global warming can disrupt normal interactions between disease vectors and their hosts. This can affect disease transmission dynamics, potentially leading to more frequent or persistent transmission.

5- Waterborne diseases: Changes in rainfall patterns and increased flooding can lead to contamination of water sources, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases such as cholera and other gastrointestinal diseases.

6- Impact on agriculture: Climate change can affect agricultural practices and food production, which in turn can affect nutritional status and susceptibility to disease. Changes in food availability and quality can affect the spread of some diseases.

7-Human Migration: As some areas become less habitable due to climate change, populations may migrate to new areas. This could introduce new disease dynamics as people from different regions deal with different disease profiles.

8- Healthcare infrastructure: The increasing burden of disease due to climate change could strain healthcare systems, especially in vulnerable and resource-limited areas. This can lead to challenges in disease monitoring, prevention, and treatment.

Regarding these dangerous effects, scientist Drew Harvill from Cornell University says: “What is astonishing and astonishing is that epidemics that are severely affected by climate appear through very different types of pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, and parasites, and infect a very diverse group of organisms, including Coral, shellfish, land plants, birds, and humans.

Researchers devoted their two-year study to the relationship between temperature change and the growth of viruses, germs, and other disease factors, while studying the factors that spread some diseases, such as rodents, mosquitoes, and flies. It was found that as the temperature rises, the activity of disease vectors – insects and rodents – increases, infecting a number of Larger than humans and animals, it has been found that successive, thermally moderate winters have lost their natural role in limiting the range of germs, viruses, and disease vectors. It has also been noted that summers in the last decade of the last century have increased in heat and length, which has increased the period during which diseases can be transmitted. Through it to living species that are highly susceptible to thermal changes, especially in the seas and oceans, researcher Richard Ostfield from the Institute for the Study of Ecosystems in New York says, “The issue is not limited to the problem of white coral that has lost its color, as environmentalists say, or some sporadic cases of malaria.” Which can be controlled, the matter has many and different aspects and we are concerned.)

The study examined the lives of many birds and animals that have been affected by high temperatures. Researchers mention, for example, the Akiba birds in Hawaii, where these birds live at an altitude of 700 meters in the mountains of the island of Maui, taking shelter in the cold at this altitude from mosquitoes and insects. Which destroys their lives, but the high temperature made mosquitoes reach such heights, bringing with them malaria germs that infected and killed large numbers of these birds, leaving only a small number of them behind.

It is important to note that the relationship between climate change and disease spread is complex and can be affected by a variety of factors, including local environmental conditions, socioeconomic factors, and public health measures. Efforts to mitigate the impact of global warming and adapt to changing conditions can play a critical role in addressing the potential spread of diseases.

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