health

How climate change could expose new epidemics

9 Comments
By Amélie BOTTOLLIER-DEPOIS

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Pathogens frozen for a few centuries are much more dangerous than those from millions of years, after all a few hundreds years still means "now" in evolutionary scale, extremely ancient bugs have instead stopped evolving for that long, so they are in a terribly disadvantage against modern immune systems.

But in comparison vector borne diseases are a much more disastrous possibility, in many places of the world mosquitoes are less than 1 degree from being able of survive winter, and if they do that would mean that abortive outbreaks with only a dozen cases can expand geometrically for the next year and end up causing millions of cases. Every year mosquitoes infected with Dengue or Chikungunya virus are found in the international airports around Tokyo, so a huge outbreak is only a matter of time.

And this is complicated with the well known phenomenon of pathogens becoming quite different when introduced in full to a new territory full of naive hosts. West Nile Virus was classically described as a benign infection with limited outbreaks and only very rare neurological complications in its native Africa; then it entered USA and until now there have been millions of cases including over 20,000 with encephalitis.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Dengue has also become a problem in far north Queensland in Australia. As I understand it, the disease is not endemic to FNQ but once in, has found a suitable agent for transmission in some of the local mosquitoes. I was also reading about the parasitic disease leishmaniasis, usually found in Central and South America, now found in the southern and south eastern states of the USA courtesy of its sandfly hosts extending their range, at least partly thanks to climate change. Leishmaniasis is something you definitely don't want to get.

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very frightening to read this. Hopefully, this pandemic will shed some light on just how serious climate change is and cause the major corporations to rethink their ambivalence to this as they have seen how climate through Covid can wreck their bottom line.

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"Our biggest enemy is our own ignorance," she added.

The human animal is as natural as the fish in the ocean and the bird in the sky and as such cannot harm the environment because humans are a part it. What aware humans fear is the blame and accusations made by climate zealots destroying an otherwise blissful experience of natural life on earth.

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The human animal is as natural as the fish in the ocean and the bird in the sky and as such cannot harm the environment because humans are a part it. 

Looks like we need to stop all those fish in the ocean and birds in the sky burning fossil fuels and littering the planet with one-use micro plastics, then.

Because if the human animal isn’t doing it, it must be them critters.

smh

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>

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The natural behaviors of fish, birds and humans are necessarily different and each a part of evolution. Climate zealots can't imagine a world that isn't hospitable to our species as it has been for previous eons. It was a changing climate that allowed our emergence and will also allow our extinction just like every other species that has ever existed. Don't be frightened, this is natural.

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Climate zealots can't imagine a world that isn't hospitable to our species as it has been for previous eons.

I wouldn't consider myself a zealot, but climate change bothers me exactly because I can imagine a world that is inhospitable to the human race.

It was a changing climate that allowed our emergence and will also allow our extinction just like every other species that has ever existed. 

Yes and no. We evolved into the ecological space left when the dinosaurs were killed off by the meteor strike-related climate change.

Since we started messing up the environment - deforestation, mining, fossil fuels, plastics - animal species have been going through biological annihilation, with extinction rates some 1,000 times higher than they would be without human action. Evolution takes place over many generations, not in the space of a few decades.

this is natural.

It is not.

Invalid CSRF

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will also allow our extinction just like every other species that has ever existed. Don't be frightened, this is natural.

You know what is unnatural? any species not doing whatever they can to avoid extinction. That goes against what nature actually is.

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