Global Warming = Pathogen Heaven

Hambydammit
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Global Warming = Pathogen Heaven

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081007/sc_nm/us_climate_health

Quote:
BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - A "deadly dozen" diseases ranging from avian flu to yellow fever are likely to spread more because of climate change, the Wildlife Conservation Society said on Tuesday.

The society, based in the Bronx Zoo in the United States and which works in 60 nations, urged better monitoring of wildlife health to help give an early warning of how pathogens might spread with global warming.

It listed the "deadly dozen" as avian flu, tick-borne babesia, cholera, ebola, parasites, plague, lyme disease, red tides of algal blooms, Rift Valley fever, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis and yellow fever.

Not that there's anything to this global warming thing, of course.  It's got nothing to do with the billions of tons of greenhouse gases being emitted by human technology.... but if there was anything to it, damn...

DamnDirtyApe, have anything to add to this?  You're the bug expert.

 

 

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DamnDirtyApe
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Hambydammit

Hambydammit wrote:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081007/sc_nm/us_climate_health

Quote:
BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - A "deadly dozen" diseases ranging from avian flu to yellow fever are likely to spread more because of climate change, the Wildlife Conservation Society said on Tuesday.

The society, based in the Bronx Zoo in the United States and which works in 60 nations, urged better monitoring of wildlife health to help give an early warning of how pathogens might spread with global warming.

It listed the "deadly dozen" as avian flu, tick-borne babesia, cholera, ebola, parasites, plague, lyme disease, red tides of algal blooms, Rift Valley fever, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis and yellow fever.

Not that there's anything to this global warming thing, of course.  It's got nothing to do with the billions of tons of greenhouse gases being emitted by human technology.... but if there was anything to it, damn...

DamnDirtyApe, have anything to add to this?  You're the bug expert.

 

 

I actually just saw this, and it's something I've been talking about with MD friends of mine for a while now.  As a matter of fact my ecology professor's final lecture in April of 1999 addressed this very likelihood and I've attempted to be somewhat evangelical about it. Like all big problems, it's multifactorial in nature.  For one thing, we could be looking at this scenario whether we were experiencing global warming or not.  The thing is, bacteria have a stiffer tolerance for temperature extremes than eukaryotes--we're fortunate that we don't get to notice that as often as we could.  Cholera was pandemic in Britain and France for several decades in the 19th century, for example.  Clearly it handles cold winters, but it doesn't handle modern sanitation methods to which wealthy nations have access.  Admittedly, viruses and eukaryotic pathogens aren't so hardy, but all they require is a chance.

Where global warming could massively change the game is in the vectors.  The fleas, the ticks, the beetles, rodents, the copapods, you name it, were already getting a little bit more travel due to globalization--which may be the bigger threat in the short term, in fact.  But if we begin to experience wetter and more tropical summers in the temperate zones, the animal vectors won't need as much help from humans for transit.  They'll move into the new niche just as soon as it gets tolerable for reproduction.  Our respite is the fact that even in a post-global warming world, those of us above the tropics will still have seasons, and quite likely more extreme ones at that, which will cut out some of the troubles from the vectors, at least for part of the year.  Slim comfort, especially when we consider the possibility that the tropics themselves will be less comfortable for humans than they are now.  Emigration will turn humans into vectors.  

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Wonderist
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Revelations *did* say

Revelations *did* say there'd be plagues. We're waitin' for ya Jesus! Eye-wink


Vastet
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I can easily say I've

I can easily say I've personally experienced this first hand. West Nile disease used to never be able to get a foot hold in Canada due to our cold weather. Now it's here in force, as the cold has dissipated significantly. Still, it's not like hundreds of people are falling over dead. We'll adapt as we always have.

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