16 December 2014, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Analyzed the Impacts of Climate Change on Health and published the same as a 64 page report. Since the report could be complex for some, here are some of the significant observations from the entire analysis.
1. Findings from 3rd National Climate Assessment are noted.
- Wet Areas are predicted to get wetter and Dry Areas are predicted to get drier;
- Significant Rise in the sea level and ocean acidity. Predictions for further rise by 2100;
- Frequency of Hurricanes, Droughts, Floods, Heat Waves has increased;
- A serious increase from 0.1% to 10% in extreme temperature events of earth;
- Marked Effects of Global Warming and Heat Waves on Earth and Human Lives respectively;
2. 61% Physicians, from The National Medical Association Survey 2014, reported the patient’s health has been affected by climate change.
3. Climate Change has serious threats to mental health.
4. Risks for developing Asthma have increased.
5. Heat Waves, Wildfires, Heavy Precipitation, Flooding has significantly increased and thus has resulted in high levels of harmful fine particles in air and water.
6. Vulnerable Population has been noted.
- Age Group: Below 5 years of age, 65 and older
- People with Chronic Conditions, for instance – Diabetes
- Places: River and coastal plains, Urban heat islands
7. Emerging Diseases using the ‘One Health’ Lens are noted.
- Climate Change => Environment Change => Changes in Environment for Supporting Disease Vector/ Harmful Microorganism Growth => Disease Outbreak
- Climate Sensitive Infectious Diseases – Zoonotic, Vector Borne, Water Borne, Food Borne and Soil Borne
- Specific Diseases – West Nile Virus Infection, Lyme Disease, Rabies, Dengue, Malaria, Chagas Disease, E.Coli, Cholera, Leptospirosis, Vibriosis, Valley Fever, Amoebic Meningoencephalitis
- Incidents of West Nile Virus and Lyme Disease on the rise
- Emergence of diseases from climate change attributed to four key reasons – Land Use Change (example – urbanization), Food and Agricultural Systems (example – livestock mixing), Human Behavior (travel capabilities) and Environmental Systems (example – Natural Calamities)
8. Surveillance, Preparedness and Research can help in overcoming the predicted adversities.
To learn more about these observations, refer the link in references:
Reference: Luber G (2014) ‘Climate Change and Health From Science to Practice’ U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CDC 1-64 online at
http://www.cdc.gov/cdcgrandrounds/pdf/gr-climate-change-1216.pdf (Accessed on 24 December 2014)