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New Study Proves Climate Change Can Make Over 200 Human Diseases Worse

After coming out of a pandemic, there’s nothing more grateful than realizing the blessings linked to your health.

But while the looming threat of COVID-19 might not be as severe as it was in the past, we’re still not completely done with the virus yet as new variants continuously evolve. But with that comes news about more growing infections taking center stage.

Monkeypox has recently been declared an emergency health condition by the WHO, not to mention the sporadic uprising of a few cases of Polio virus in the United Kingdom, despite being eradicated decades ago. Clearly, we’re not done yet. But a new report is shedding light on how there are worse things in store, thanks to climate change.

The new study claims that climate change is destined to make more than 200 human diseases worse than the way things already are. The logic behind the ordeal is simple. Hotter temperatures and warmer climates serve as better breeding grounds and living conditions for mosquitos.

Meanwhile, flooding conditions that arise due to storms have the tendency of carrying bacteria in large water surges.

But it’s interesting to note how most research taking place today is only focusing on either one disease or just a small number of threats at any given point in time.

This particular study that we’re now talking about was just published in a renowned journal called Nature Climate Change and was seen building a huge comprehensive map of the different ways by which climate hazards behave, considering the fact that we’ve got around 375 human infections to deal with.

The findings came after the authors involved in the study began reviewing nearly 77,000 different scientific articles. This was linked to both climate change and the striking health hazards they bring with them.

About 218 of the infections outlined were proven to become worse by weather and climate factors such as heatwaves, wildfires, and poor weather conditions including a rise in the sea level.

The authors delineated four major ways through which a change in climate would make diseases worse. For starters, the issue aggravates when you’ve got animals serving as vectors of disease for humans.

Fires end up destroying the wild and natural habitats of so many animals and they are therefore forced to migrate long distances and more closer to humans. And in the end, they carry a bigger chance to transmit the disease to people. One of the most common examples in this regard is Ebola.

The research also provides proof of how climate change has the tendency of causing viruses in animals to jump toward humans. And the COVID-19 pandemic is the best example.

Let’s not forget how people tend to move on closer to animals that are known to cause disease, during climate change. This results in outbreaks of conditions like Cholera where human movements after brutal storm conditions result in the spread of disease.

Thirdly, we saw how climate changes can help boost up pathogens as is seen with mosquitos when it gets hotter and drier. And last but not least, fluctuating changes in temperatures can have the tendency to drastically lower the human body’s immune system. Hence, they’re less able to fight infections vigorously.

The researchers have given the influenza virus here as the greatest example of all time.

For those who are still looking for more unanswered questions and how climate change really does increase the chances of virus spread, well, you can always go back to the research. The authors have even outlined interactive charts which provide a link connecting diseases of various kinds to changes in climate.


Read next: Humanity Has Already Used Up Earth’s Annual Resources for 2022

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