One of the most significant environmental problems of the modern world is global warming, which threatens the destruction of flora and fauna, changing the earth’s surface and natural disasters. The main harmful aspect of global warming is that all of the changes can significantly damage people’s health because it can create life-threatening conditions, such as hunger, excessive heat, natural disasters, and the spread of infectious diseases (Rossati, 2017). People can only take measures to slow down warming to avoid most consequences; however, in the situation of contagious diseases, a more appropriate solution is to prevent them. Consequently, this paper will examine the increasing spread of infectious diseases as one of the effects of climate change, as well as current and possible measures to overcome it.
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Climate change has a significant effect on the spread of infectious diseases, since it creates an enabling environment for the development and survival of viruses and bacteria. Rossati (2017) claims that warming contributes to the expansion of mosquitoes and ticks, which are carriers of such diseases as malaria, cholera, encephalitis, and other infections characteristic of the regions of Asia and Africa. Wu et al. (2016) examine climate change in more detail, such as increased winds, droughts, floods, and sunlight, to explain how they affect the spread of disease. In general, each of these weather conditions contributes to the development of pathogenic organisms and the completion of their life cycle. For example, heating seas, lakes, or rivers lead to the growth and reproduction of bacteria that cause intestinal infections, such as salmonella or dysentery (Rossati, 2017). An increase in temperature affects both the life cycle of bacteria allowing them to survive outside the host, and the distribution of animals atypical for the region, such as mosquitoes or ticks (Wu et al., 2016). Consequently, bacteria and viruses are becoming more dangerous and spread in countries where unvaccinated people live.
Today, countries and governments struggle with global warming and its pace. The methods for fighting are the signing of international treaties that limit the emission of CO2 or greenhouse gas, such as the Paris Agreement, as well as the promotion of environmental trends (Dai, 2019). However, it is virtually impossible to stop these warming processes, especially if the world continues to use the production and transport polluting environment. Therefore, the main measures to prevent the spread of infections are the development of predicting methods, the improvement of the medical system, and infrastructure. Wu et al. (2016) note that epidemic prediction methods already exist and have been successfully applied in some countries, such as Botswana; however, they need to be improved. This step will allow the timely use of vaccines for the population of countries where diseases are not typical. In addition, improving the infrastructure of cities and villages, such as water treatment systems, reduces the risk of contracting gastrointestinal infections. The COVID-19 pandemic also showed that many health systems were not ready for the spread of the virus, which tells governments about the need for improvement.
In conclusion, global warming has many negative consequences, and the spread of infectious diseases can be one of the most serious. For this reason, states need to prepare for such results to prevent new epidemics and pandemics, and nurses have to bring this message to the government. Such preparation requires complex measures; however, it is necessary and inevitable, and it will be useful for the life and health of the world’s population even if climate change stops.
Dai, M. A. Z. (2019). The ideological potential of climate change: (Post) politics in the age of global warming. Political Reflection, 5(1), 9-14.
Rossati, A. (2017). Global warming and its health impact. International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 8(1), 7‐20.
Wu, X., Lu, Y., Zhou, S., Chen, L., & Xu, B. (2016). Impact of climate change on human infectious diseases: Empirical evidence and human adaptation. Environment International, 86, 14–23.
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