February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 5, MAY 1997
IMPACTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE: HEALTH
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
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
and Infectious Disease," X.B. Yang (Dept. Plant Pathol., Iowa State Univ.,
Ames IA 50011; e-mail: email@example.com), 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
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.
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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