Health

Climate Change Health Impacts: Extreme Heat, Heat Waves and Hospitalizations

Extreme heat events are anticipated to grow in number, intensity and length of duration as the effects of climate change increase over time. Increases in events such as heat waves from climate change could have large health implications on the elderly which are the most susceptible populations. Health studies of extreme heat and heat waves have focused predominantly on mortality outcomes, which may not adequately account for the burden on the US healthcare systems like Medicare…

A Case Where Climate Change Reduces Infectious Disease Transmission

One of the most feared consequences of climate warming is the potential expansion of tropical infectious diseases. However, for diseases that require intermediate hosts a warmer climate and the particular dynamics of the disease can actually reduce transmission in some cases. A recent study by Paull and Johnson describes one such scenario.  The authors examined a system in which freshwater snails are intermediate hosts for trematode…

Study Shows Health Co-Benefits Justify Costs of Greenhouse Gas Reduction

A new study by Thompson et al. (2014) suggests that greenhouse gas reductions can be economically justified based on health benefits that result from associated reductions of other pollutants such as particulate matter and ozone that frequently come from the same sources.

Although this linkage has been studied for some time, the connections between policies and health and economic benefits are highly

Meteorological Influences on Lyme Disease

Over the past two decades Lyme disease has emerged as the most common vector-borne disease in the United States. It is currently endemic in at least 12 states, from Virginia in the South to Maine in the North, and Minnesota and Wisconsin in the West. The majority of cases are believed to be transmitted by nymphal ticks during late spring and early summer months of June, July, and August. Control methods currently focus on the…

Climate Impacts on Sanitation in Botswana

Worldwide, about 800 million people lack access to an improved water source. In its most basic form, an improved water supply is a well or protected spring that protects water from outside contamination. Lack of access to clean water helps explain why15% of all deaths of children under 5 worldwide are caused by diarrheal diseases. While many factors are involved, water quality and quantity…

Water-related Disease and Climate

Human-induced climate change is altering precipitation patterns in most parts of the world (Stocker et al., 2013). In the future, climate change will likely exacerbate droughts (Trenberth et al., 2014; Dai, 2012) and drastically increase the likelihood of floods throughout many parts of South America, Africa and southern Asia (Hirabayashi  et al., 2013) …

Climate Change Changing Dengue Fever Distribution

Already endemic in over 110 countries, and with almost 50 million cases annually, dengue fever continues to spread. Incidences have increased almost 30-fold in the past 50 years. Although rarely fatal, the disease costs Latin America and the Caribbean around $2.1 billion annually. Being a vector-borne disease, it is spread by mosquitos that frequently lay their eggs in standing water that is common near households in many tropical countries. Previous research has shown that dengue fever exhibits seasonal patterns, which means that climate change might affect its spread.

Ecology and Evolution of Invasive Mosquito Disease Vectors

This presentation will describe interspecific interactions and trait evolution associated with encounters in nature between Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, the most important vectors of dengue and chikungunya viruses. Effects of larval competition on dengue transmission in nature will also be discussed.

Mosquito biology, especially ecology and behavior, is the focus of Phil Lounibos’s laboratory located in Vero Beach, Florida.

South America Weather Forecast: Gastrointestinal Disease Likely

Climate scientists predict that climate change will lead to increased variability in precipitation over much of South America.  Research by Carlton et al (2013) on residents of northwestern rural Ecuador who rely on streams and rivers for their drinking water shows how those changes might impact water quality and associated rates of diarrhea, a water-related disease which leads to approximately 1 million deaths of young children worldwide each year.  The study further highlighted curious dynamics involving precipitation and water-borne disease.

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