Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Environmental change and the increasing threat of infectious diseases

The world’s changing climate and the associated increase in severe weather events such as flooding, drought and storm damage will lead to wars over water, mass movements of people and global changes in the incidence of infectious diseases within a century, says Paul Hunter, Professor of Health Protection at the University of East Anglia.

“Although the direct threat from climate-related infectious diseases in the UK is likely to be limited to food and waterborne disease,” says Professor Hunter, “mass migration of peoples displaced from developing nations that are more severely affected, is likely to have a far greater impact: causing a rise in cases of diseases like tuberculosis and HIV.”

Professor Hunter will make his comments on Tuesday as part of ‘Environmental change and the increasing threat of infectious diseases’, an event at the BA Festival of Science in Norwich. The Festival is taking place at the University of East Anglia from 2-9 September and will bring together over 300 of the UK’s top scientists and engineers to discuss the latest scientific developments with the public.

Professor Hunter suggests that the most serious impacts of climate change on infectious disease will be felt in the poorer countries of the world, but may also influence the ecology and distribution of species that are host to disease. For instance, while increases in summertime temperatures and the frequency of hot summers will boost bacterial growth rates in food and may cause a noticeable rise in cases of food poisoning, decreasing rainfall will reduce the availability of water and may lead to an increased reliance on poorer quality water sources and waste water. In developing nations without the appropriate water treatment technology this will lead to increasing outbreaks of diseases associated with contaminated water supplies (e.g. cholera, Hepatitis A and malaria) in addition to famine, large-scale displacement of people and wars over access to water before the end of the century.

Of more concern to developed nations, such as the UK, is the fact that more frequent flooding and extreme rainfall increases the likelihood of waterborne disease outbreaks. Particularly notable are reports of wound infections in Germany caused by Vibrio vulnificus (a marine water organism that only grows in warm water and was previously most problematic in areas bordering the Gulf of Mexico) and cryptosporidium and E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks in the UK and Canada as a result of heavy rainfall and associated flooding.

Lisa Hendry | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

New method increases energy density in lithium batteries

24.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

International team discovers novel Alzheimer's disease risk gene among Icelanders

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

New bacteria groups, and stunning diversity, discovered underground

24.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>