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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 5, MAY 1997

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: HEALTH


Item #d97may43

"Sensitivity of Malaria, Schistosomiasis and Dengue to Global Warming," W.J.M. Martens (Dept. Math., Maastricht Univ., POB 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, Neth.), T.H. Jetten, D.A. Focks, Clim. Change, 35(2), 145-156, Feb. 1997.

Explores the sensitivity of these vector-borne diseases to changes in ambient temperature and precipitation. Under all three climate change scenarios considered, found an increase in the epidemic potential of the malarial and dengue parasites in presently vulnerable regions; however, the transmission potential of schistosomiasis may decrease. The greatest danger for increased human fatalities lies on the altitude and latitude fringes of endemic areas, where newly affected populations would lack naturally acquired immunity. As an essential step in disease prevention, suggests enhanced surveillance and response, particularly through sentinel diagnostic centers in these border regions.


Item #d97may44

"Assessing the Health Impacts of Climate Change," H. Dowlatabadi (Dept. Eng. & Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh PA 15213), Clim. Change, 35(2), 137-144, Feb. 1997.

An essay emphasizing that the literature on health impacts of climate change must be interpreted in the broader context of public health issues in a challenging global environment. This broader interpretation does not always support intervention to halt or reverse climate change. For example, we should be helping less industrialized nations to gain access to basic public health, to improve patient care, to engage in activities which do not expose them to disease vectors, and to develop institutions which can ameliorate the ravages of climate extremes.


Item #d97may45

"El Niņo and Infectious Disease," X.B. Yang (Dept. Plant Pathol., Iowa State Univ., Ames IA 50011; e-mail: xbyang@iastate.edu), H. Scherm, Science, 275(5301), 739, Feb. 7, 1997.

Supports the results of the following article by R.R. Colwell, citing evidence that climatic cycles like El Niņo can affect infectious disease, as well as changes in occurrence or intensity of plant diseases such as wheat rust or wheat scab. The occurrence of El Niņo could be used as disease forecasting tool.


Item #d97may46

"Global Climate and Infectious Disease: The Cholera Paradigm," R.R. Colwell (Biotechnol. Inst., Univ. Maryland, 4321 Hartwick Rd., S. 550, College Pk. MD 20740), Science, 274(5295), 2025-2031, Dec. 20, 1996.

Adapted from the AAAS President's lecture given at the Association's 1996 annual meeting. Gives numerous examples of the emergence (or re-emergence) of infectious diseases throughout the world that have infected new host populations because of environmental and social changes. These changes, especially those resulting from human activities, need to be defined. Uses the historical and current patterns of cholera infections as an example, noting, for instance, the relationship between sea surface temperatures and cholera in Bangladesh, and between El Niņo and cholera in Peru.


Item #d97may47

"The Potential Effect of Global Warming on the Geographic and Seasonal Distribution of Phlebotomus papatasi in Southwest Asia," E.R. Cross (Infectious Disease Threat Assessment, Naval Medical Res. Inst., Bethesda MD 20889), K.C. Hyams, Environ. Health Perspectives, 104(7), 724-727, July 1996.

This sandfly species in Southwest Asia, whose distribution is thought to be highly dependent on temperature and relative humidity, is the vector for two important infectious diseases, sandfly fever and leishmaniasis. Considers the impact of increased temperatures at 115 weather stations, 71 of which currently have endemic conditions for these diseases. Rises in temperature of 1° C, 3° C, and 5° C would raise the number of endemic stations to 85, 102, and 114, respectively. The length of the season of disease transmission would also increase at each station.

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