Climate change is induced by the rise of Earth’s temperature. In recent years, it has globally increased by almost 2ºF (“Climate changes allergies and asthma,” n.d.). Its main reason is the burning of fossil fuels, which produces heat-trapping toxic agents and carbon dioxide and creates the greenhouse effect on the planet. The elevation of temperature changes the weather patterns and causes intensive snowstorms, heatwaves, floods, droughts, rising sea levels, and wildfires (“Climate changes allergies and asthma,” n.d.). These climatic anomalies and natural disasters substantially influence human health and well-being.
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Health Issues Caused by Climate Change
Weather modifications affect all social groups, especially older adults, children, people with chronic diseases, pregnant women, ethnic minorities, and people with low socioeconomic status (“How climate change impacts health,” 2019). As the climate is changing worldwide, health issues occur not only at the national but global level. Asthma and allergies are health issues that are primarily affected by global warming. According to research, due to the more extended allergy season, more than 30% of adults and children currently have nasal allergies (“Climate changes allergies and asthma,” n.d.). Asthma is a severe chronic disease, including around 7% of adults and 9% of children presently suffering from it (“Climate changes allergies and asthma,” n.d.).
The greenhouse effect increases the risk of vector-borne diseases’ spread as well. Vectors are organisms, prevalently insects, which transmit infections, such as malaria, Lyme disease, or West Nile virus, from one host to another (Ebi, Ogden, Semenza, & Woodward, 2017). Warmth, humid climate and heavy rainfalls that result in standing water, stimulate the increase of dangerous insects. Natural disasters caused by the burning of fossil fuels significantly influence public health and well-being. Intensive floods lead to food insecurity by spoiling crops, and mold attack, which will decrease the air quality inside buildings. Draught and heatwaves may result in heat strokes and wildfires which provoke various lung diseases, bronchitis, and asthma (Patz, Frumkin, Holloway, Vimont, & Haines, 2014). Natural disasters affect not only physical but mental health of the population as well. According to researches, almost 50% of natural disaster victims suffer from depression and mood disorders (“Climate changes mental health,” n.d.). The survivors may develop anxiety, suicidal behavior, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Natural disasters and weather anomalies that have a strong impact on people’s health are the results of climate change caused by the increase in Earth’s temperature. Consequently, this temperature evaluation is promoted by the influence of carbon dioxide and heat-trapping toxins on Earth’s atmosphere. The burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, releases heat-trapping gases and it appears the general problem. Apparently, the reduction of carbon dioxide and other toxic agents will prevent weather patterns’ change and further health issues. Power plants remain the main source of carbon emission in the United States (American Public Health Association, 2015). In 2015, the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency developed the Clean Power Plan that focused on health protection of the American population (American Public Health Association, 2015). According to the Plan, by 2030 air pollution from American power plants should be reduced by 32% to prevent 90% of deaths caused by plants’ carbon emissions (American Public Health Association, 2015). This strategy will help to reduce the harmful impacts of climate change and provide a healthier environment for future generations.
Ways of Solution to Current Health Issues
While the government, large companies, and stakeholders take measures to minimize the risk of further climate change are taken, the population is responsible for taking steps towards protecting health within the conditions of eventually happened changes. If the concentration of harmful agents in the air is high, it is recommended to avoid outdoor activities, especially for children, older people, and those who suffer from asthma and other respiratory diseases (“Climate changes children’s health,” n.d.). To prevent air quality reduction due to hot and humid weather or flood, it is essential to control mold formation indoor. The use of dehumidifiers and air conditioners are a highly effective method to dry an emplacement; if mold has already appeared, it is necessary to contact any sanitary service or the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (“Climate changes allergies and asthma,” n.d). To control the spread of vector-borne diseases, there is effective coordination of local, state, and federal offices that monitor the potential insect outbreaks and take all necessary measures in case of emergency (“Climate change increases,” n.d.). Citizens can minimize the risks of bites by using repellents and avoiding standing water.
Impact on Health Care Delivery System
Climate change and potential natural disasters are currently considered in the health care delivery system. Although the system needs constant improvement and development to face increasingly challenging tasks, the extensive network of medical centers and institutions provides medical help for patients who suffer from the consequences of climate change. Health care professionals effectively control asthma, allergies, and respiratory passages’ deterioration from wildfires and sandstorms. They provide the treatment of substantially all specified infections that are spread by insects and rodents. Psychological help is highly significant as well, and the victims of natural disasters are provided with therapy and professional nursing.
In general, climate change substantially affects public health, as it evokes natural disasters and changes in weather patterns that cause various respiratory disorders, infections, heat strokes, and mental diseases. Climate change influences all social groups at the national level. While the government occupies the main reason for global warming and reduces harmful emissions, the population can make sensitive steps to protect public health as well. The health care delivery system includes professional medical help and nursing to patients who suffer from the results of climate change.
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Ebi, K. L., Ogden, N. H., Semenza, J. C., & Woodward, A. (2017). Detecting and attributing health burdens to climate change. Environmental Health Perspectives, 125(8). Web.
Patz, J. A., Frumkin, H., Holloway, T., Vimont, D. J., & Haines, A. (2014). Climate change: Challenges and opportunities for global health. JAMA, 312(15), 1565-1580. Web.