There is increasing talk of climate change, the topic, as it should be, has rightfully entered the public debate and is influencing the actions of governments and communities. Studies are multiplying that analyze the negative effects of human actions on the environment and the actions to try to mitigate them. However, the consequences of climate change do not only concern the environment in the strict sense but extend to all sectors of social life, such as health for example.
Let’s see how, in this article we at AMIL Care thought could be of interest to anyone who works in the field of sanitation.
Climate change and health: a dangerous correlation
One of the direct effects of climate change on health is the increased risk of infection. Extreme climatic conditions influence the biological characteristics of pathogens – such as growth, survival, and virulence – and of their vectors, favoring their transmission between humans.
A correlation also emerges from the latest report by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), published in 2021, which shows how the increase in temperatures and rainfall favors the onset of a series of infectious diseases:
- vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, and leishmaniasis;
- enteric infections such as cholera, vibriosis, and rotavirus infection;
- parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis.
Furthermore, according to a study recently published in Nature, Over half of the known human pathogenic diseases can be aggravated by climate change, climate change has aggravated about 58% of infectious diseases in the world:, out of 375 diseases analyzed, 278 have worsened due to the impact of the climate crisis. More in particular:
- 160 diseases have been aggravated by atmospheric warming;
- 122 from heavy rainfall;
- 121 from floods.
How do climatic events affect the risk of infection?
We have seen that climate change negatively affects infectious diseases by increasing their spread and danger. But how does it do it? The study published in Nature summarizes the reasons as follows:
- extreme climatic events bring pathogens closer to people;
- extreme weather events bring people closer to pathogens;
- climate change favors pathogens;
- climate change weakens the body’s ability to deal with pathogens.
Let’s try to give some examples to better explain the correlation between climate change and health.
The increase in temperatures can alter the distribution of mosquitoes and favor their diffusion, however, mosquitoes are vectors of many dangerous diseases for humans, first of all malaria. Drought, on the other hand, can bring rodents infected with hemorrhagic fever to human communities in the food search, increasing the risk of infection. On the other hand, men too can be led to change behavioral patterns due to climate change and be more exposed to pathogens. Excessive heat causes people to spend more time in the water and this can, consequently, increase the risk of contracting a bacteriological infection.
In other cases, climate change has generated environmental conditions that increase the possibility of pathogens interacting with vectors, as in the case of stagnant water after heavy rainfall: the soil becomes the ideal place for mosquitoes and diseases to escape such as yellow fever, dengue, leishmaniasis.
Prevention is a weapon to be exploited
As the IPCC researchers themselves point out, the multitude and complexity of the factors that influence the transmission of pathogens prevent us from being able to make accurate predictions on the effects of climate change on infectious diseases. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has unfortunately shown us the vulnerability of men in the face of viruses that can trigger global pandemics, causing not only the death of many people but also wider socio-economic consequences. The researchers explain: “The sheer number of pathogenic diseases and transmission routes exacerbated by climate risks reveals the magnitude of the threat to human health posed by climate change and the urgent need for aggressive action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. greenhouse”.
Today more than ever, the surveillance of existing infectious diseases and their changing transmission trends in response to changing climate on health is becoming crucial, but this alone is not enough. Both shared actions at the international level and efficient local prevention plans are needed to counter the onset of infectious diseases and protect people’s health. Indeed, prevention is the most effective tool we have to protect ourselves from the dangers, risks, and threats generated by climate change. If the future involves risks, every risk can be mitigated with rigorously studied and applied preventive strategies. After all, as we know, prevention is better than cure.
In this sense, among the most effective preventive measures to counter the spread of pathogens, we have sanitation, sanitation, and disinfection. The set of all those operations that make an environment safe and healthy.
Prevent with AMIL Care: Medisystem
In this field, the certified and cutting-edge solutions of AMIL Care guarantee a very high level of sanitation. The Medisystem system, simple and safe, is made up of a range of micro-nebulizing devices and a series of chemical solutions capable of reaching even the most critical points of the environment to be disinfected and acting on the major multi-resistant pathogens. AMIL Care has aimed at chemical solutions based on hydrogen peroxide and silver sulfate with proven efficacy, which leave no residues and can act on bacteria, viruses, fungi, and spores, safe for health and environmentally friendly. Furthermore, Medisystem is patented and CE and FDA (Food and Drug Administration) certified, a safe solution for implementing the prevention strategies of health systems and all those environments at risk of present and future contagion.