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24 May 2007

Climate will fuel infections

Global climate change will trigger a major increase in the number of emerging infectious diseases, a panel of experts said during a news conference Tuesday.

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Global climate change will trigger a major increase in the number of emerging infectious diseases, a panel of experts said during a news conference Tuesday at the American Society of Microbiology's annual general meeting in Toronto, Canada.

The experts added that rising temperatures will alter the way that dozens of infectious diseases - such as lyme disease, malaria and currently unknown viruses - affect human health, the Toronto Star reported.

They also said that diseases currently found in tropical areas will spread into more temperate regions. In addition, there will be more hurricanes, tornadoes, tsunamis and other extreme weather events that will result in more public health emergencies.

One expert said that increased travel will contribute to an increase in rates of infectious disease around the world, the Star reported. Rita Colwell, a professor at the University of Maryland, noted that millions of people travel each year.

"You are just one cough away from an infectious disease you would not have been exposed to 50 years ago," she said. – (HealthDayNews)

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May 2007

 
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