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Spread of infectious diseases

Updated: Saturday, Oct 24,2009, 3:31:46 PM
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The spread of disease to predict the direction of considering only the climate is not enough

In the warm Middle Ages, the UK wine wine exports to France is threatened.

This is just a strange accident of history. Different grape varieties have their specific growth needs of the warmth of southern England in the summer for a continuous system of wine carve a new path, to produce drinkable Chardonnay wine (a non-sweet white wine), Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier raw materials such as liquor.

Wine warmer climate much favor at the same time, gave England has brought malaria. And grapes, like mosquitoes and the spread of diseases like the warm climate. In 1385, the British poet Chaucer (Chaucer)'s "Canterbury's Tale" is precisely about several malaria-endemic under the deadly fever.

In the global warming today, the British health officials predicted that in 2050 the British weather, will be equally suitable for malaria epidemic.

Not just in England, the traditional notion that global climate change will lead to tropical diseases, particularly infectious diseases to spread throughout the temperate regions. These diseases include schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), dengue fever, African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness), yellow fever, and so on. One can imagine that tropical diseases will spread to temperate rich countries predictions, has sparked the continuous development of social anxiety. Soon the interest of the problem extended to the agricultural, biological conservation science and fisheries.

However, the U.S. Centers for Disease ecologist Kevin Lafferty recent article published in the journal Ecology, subversion of the traditional knowledge. He said that although climate change is already affecting and will continue to affect the habitat distribution of infectious diseases, but its role seems more likely to eradicate infectious diseases, infectious diseases, rather than increasing.

Biology has its existence due to the temperature of upper and lower limits, climate change should lead to the demise of the existing habitat for bacteria. For example, the prevalence of mosquitoes in the current area (such as the West African desert grassland), if the hotter more arid climate, mosquitoes will disappear. At the same time, infectious virus by the host to survive climate changes that result in disappearance of many species, reduction of the host so that they face extinction.

In addition, the increase in habitat in temperate regions are not inevitably lead to an increase in infectious diseases. Human disease control efforts, has been successfully reduce or even stop the spread of infectious diseases in developed countries. Good health and effective insect control, so that even if the disease occurs, they can hardly popular.

This speculation seems to climate change will reduce biodiversity point of view consistent. Infectious bacteria, as a biological diversity, important and sensitive component may be the first to die out.

However, this view led to a strong argument ecologists. The spread of infectious diseases due to climate change process is being carried out quietly: the Ethiopian highlands increased incidence of malaria, poor medical facilities to cover up all of the other effects; the Caribbean in winter warming, the incidence of coral is increasing.

Some scholars say that even if malaria-carrying mosquitoes did not increase the geographical scope of the activities, malaria extends to the population is more dense, reduced-risk high-altitude areas is almost inevitable. Debate, another concern is that those who are, Lafferty's conclusion may be interpreted as climate change and in changing patterns of disease transmission does not play a role, so as to "disrupting the improvement of public health agencies to take effective action."

No matter how the debate, ecologists who have a view appears to be the same: to predict the spread of disease go, just consider the climate is far from enough. Over the past 4.5 million years from the existing record, far less than 0.1% of the species that ever existed, still exists today. Discussion of such intense, of course, because one of the existing species, human beings, and some pathogens and pests, directly or indirectly threaten our very existence.

Tags: Diseases Infectious spread

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