Warming Weather Patterns Tied to Increased Rate of Infectious Disease

Outline of Europe with hotspots
This is a satellite image of the heat energy emitted from Europe during summer 2019 Credit: ESA Copernicus Sentinel

Increasingly frequent warming patterns of weather are tied to increasing rates of infectious disease. 2018 was one of the hottest on record, with more than 220 million additional exposures to heatwaves compared with a 1986-2005 climatological baseline. Increasing temperatures are linked to rising mortality from dengue fever, particularly in Southeast Asia. Rising temperatures also increase areas of coastline suitable for Vibrio bacteria, which has increased by 31% in the Baltic coastline and 29% in the northeastern coastline of the United States.

“Trends in climate suitability for disease transmission are particularly concerning, with 9 of the 10 most suitable years for the transmission of dengue fever on record occurring since 2000,” the authors said. “Similarly, since an early 1980s baseline, the number of days suitable for Vibrio (a pathogen responsible for part of the burden of diarrheal disease) has doubled, and global suitability for coastal Vibrio cholerae has increased by 9.9%.”

Read more at CIDRAP, The Lancet

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