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“We have entered an epidemic era,” a recent study in the journal Cell states. Dr. Anthony Fauci and medical historian Drs. Written by David Morens, both of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the study presents a futuristic picture of where the epidemic becomes many more.
“I’m not a crystal ball, but what we’re seeing sounds like an acceleration of the epidemic,” Morens told Buzzfeed News. The reasons he cited include deforestation, urban congestion and wet markets for wild game.
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But the potential role of climate change is complex: we know that viruses survive longer in colder temperatures than warm ones, so this could mean that a warmer planet would slow the spread of the disease, meteorologist Jeff Said Masters, who writes for Yale Climate Connections. On the other hand, he said that heat waves cause people to spend more time indoors in air-conditioned places, where the spread of the disease increases.
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“Thus, Florida had a difficult time with COVID-19 this summer, with parts of Florida recording their heat,” Masters told USA Today. “These complications make it difficult to determine how climate change may affect COVID-19.”
Warming creates ‘opportunities’ for pathogens
Some scientists believe that warming will play a larger role in future epidemics.
Director of TH C-Change Program of Harvard University, Drs. Aaron Bernstein said, “We know that climate change is related to other species on Earth and it is related to our health and our risk for infection.”
“As the planet heats up, large and small animals, on land and at sea, move towards the poles to get out of the heat,” he said. “This means that animals are coming into contact with other animals that they would not normally do, and this gives pathogens an opportunity to join new hosts.”
In addition, Masters said that the most concern of climate change on a global scale is diseases spread by mosquitoes, as they are warm and wet like mosquitoes – which are becoming increasingly common due to global warming. He said that malaria, zika, chikungunya, dengue fever and West Nile virus are expected to spread to areas where they are not currently endemic. Tick-borne diseases like Lyme disease will also spread.
Bernstein said that climate change has already made conditions more conducive for the spread of some infectious diseases, including Lyme disease, waterborne diseases such as Vibrio parahaemolyticus (which causes vomiting and diarrhea) and mosquito-borne diseases. Such as malaria and dengue fever.
Bernstein said, “Predicting future risks is not easy, but climate change is difficult on many fronts, when and where pathogens appear, including temperature and rainfall patterns,” limiting the risk of infectious diseases. To help do so, we must do all we can to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. “
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To determine whether climate change could intensify future epidemics, Morns told USA Today that it would be too early to draw definitive conclusions.
“One can imagine that if climate change causes further environmental degradation and change (beyond what humans are already doing), then we are likely to see more of these diseases,” he said. “But one can equally argue that we will see less. These are big questions to which we may not have good answers for decades, or even centuries to come.”
“But at the end of the day, for many reasons, it is hard to imagine that climate change will do anything good for human health.”
Climate change is a ‘threat multiplier’
One expert said that almost certainly, The effects Pandemics such as COVID are abandoned by climate change.
Meteorologist Michael Mann of Penn State University called climate change a “threat multiplier”, meaning “it increases current challenges and threats that increase our vulnerability and reduce our adaptive capacity.”
For example, he said, for example, the situation in Puerto Rico, where many people have died of COVID-19 for the simple reason that they have not yet recovered, in terms of their public health infrastructure, Hurricane Maria Three Long before the devastating effects of.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the storm was made more destructive by unusually warm tropical Atlantic sea surface temperatures, which provide more energy and moisture for the storm,” Mann said. “This anomalous heat can only be explained by taking into account human-caused climate change.”
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He said that a case could also be made for at least an indirect relationship between COVID-19 and climate change. Environmental degradation including deforestation, destruction of rain forests and natural habitat for development can displace organisms carrying foreign disease in a way that enhances human interaction.
“These same activities – particularly deforestation – are also leading to increased carbon emissions, which are behind human-climate change,” Mann said.
This article originally appeared on USA Today: Scientists Are Watching ‘Acceleration of Pandemic’: They Are Watching Climate Change
Gallery: Dr. Fauci warns of a new COVID ‘increase’ (ETNT Health)