The fight against climate change will help the world deal with several other issues like new infectious diseases. Therefore, the treatment of each current problem of humanity should be transdisciplinary and start with global warming.
Indeed, several means established for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gases and industries waste are in a way solutions for issues that are older than global warming such as health risks.
The epidemic risk is universal. Today, the speed and growth of human contacts make the fight against epidemics an increased problem. This development experienced by humanity has in a way prompted the spread of epidemic risks compared to the era before the 19th century. Urbanization in particular is one of the factors increasing the risk of epidemics.
We all remember the third epidemic that struck France at the end of the 19th century, which arrived in Marseille and spread through the non-compliance with the rules of quarantine and precautions in trade. This obviously matches what the world is going through right now, COVID-19.
Today, increasing urbanization, with the consequences it imposes such as the need to take public transport and work in increasingly crowded spaces, are absolutely factors in the spread of epidemics.
Zoonotic diseases are in particular determined by interactions between humans and nature. Land use changes are increasingly disrupting the landscapes and natural habitats of several species. Deforestation and agricultural development are modifying socio-ecological systems and increasing human, fauna and pathogens contact.
The fight against climate change and the spread of pandemics
Significant declines in common infectious diseases in recent years, such as malaria, yellow fever and lymphatic filariasis have increased denials of any involvement of global warming in emerging diseases. Detecting and attributing the impact of climate change on infectious diseases is still unclear, but substantial progress has been made.
The earth does not need to warm up too much to undergo serious ecological damage. Indeed, 1 ° C has helped bluetongue to spread in recent years in Mediterranean countries. The 1 ° C increase caused the distribution of the insect causing this fever to shift, 90 m in latitude and 150 m in altitude, affecting almost the entire Mediterranean. Bluetongue is an arbovirus caused by the bluetongue virus transmitted by biting midges of the genus Culicoides to domestic ruminants.
In an article published on October 26 in the British Medical Journal, scientists showed that there is enough evidence that climate change is increasing impacts on infectious diseases. For example, the incidence of malaria is increasing in the mountainous regions of Colombia and Ethiopia, Lyme disease is spreading northwards, and arbovirus is spreading in temperate regions; global warming in all these regions is particularly pronounced.
“There are also signs that the indigenous spread of some infectious diseases may be facilitated by climate change increasing ecological suitability (the availability of appropriate niches for vectors and pathogens)“, confirms the report.
The impacts of climate change are accelerating and ecosystems are approaching dangerous tipping points, and whatever the reasons, we urgently need to rethink our lifestyles.