Its that time of year again when people start coming down with a cold or the flu. But they could soon be the least of your worries.
Avian flu, TB, cholera and Ebola are just some of the broad range of infectious diseases that will get worse because of climate change. If that is not enough to make you worry how about intestinal and external parasites, yellow fever, sleeping sickness, Lyme disease and even a dose of the plague.
Climate change will allow all these “deadly dozen” diseases to spread more easily, according to a new report by the Wildlife Conservation Society. They will spread more easily because of changes in temperature and precipitation, threatening human health and global economies. For instance, avian influenza and several other livestock diseases that have reemerged since the mid-1990s have caused an estimated $100 billion in losses to the global economy.
“The term ‘climate change’ conjures images of melting ice caps and rising sea levels that threaten coastal cities and nations, but just as important is how increasing temperatures and fluctuating precipitation levels will change the distribution of dangerous pathogens,” said Dr. Steven E. Sanderson, WCS President and CEO.
Often the skeptics argue that, even if climate change is happening, increased CO2 levels must be a good thing. Catching any of the deadly dozen might make them think again.
Nature has a way of “thinning the herd”. Sad, but true.
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