Impact Of Climate On Spread Of Microbial Diseases

Shaista Khalid, Nida Rauf, Atia Liaqut, Eraj Irfan, Capital University Of Science And Technology (CUST)Islamabad

Infectious disease such as Hiv/aids, malaria, dengue, pnemeniua and hepatitis have been in call for many years. Recently two main disease such as corona and hanta virus are in the news. But have we ever wondered that why there is an outrange of these diseases all together. Let’s consider one of the most important thing that have been neglected since years and that is ------climate change.

With a very vast change in the climatic conditions the transmission patterns of infectious disease have been changed dramatically. Air and water temperatures, precipitation patterns, extreme rainfall events, seasonal variations are all known to affect disease transmission, these factors are also combined with the impacts of rapid demographic, environmental, social, technological and other changes in our ways of living. The more these conditions move to extremes the more the risk of spread of disease like corona and hanta virus.

Rise in temperature especially in the Arctic Circle is leading to the melting of ice and permafrost. The acceleration of their melting is changing the monotony of the earth’s climate and is the prime factor for the emergence and re-emergence of the microbial diseases. There has been evident scientific studies that many pathogens (bacteria, viruses and fungi) can still exist in an immobilized state for hundreds and thousands of years. So with the ice melting there is an increased risk for the spreading of some ancient microbial diseases to which the living generation might not be prepared for.

Other factor of discussion includes the air pollution, polluted air is also a supreme factor for making any sort of microbial disease more intense and havoc for the living beings. Air pollution includes the particulates of nitrates, sulfate and the dust of carbon. Breathing in the polluted air weakens our immune system and damages our respiratory system with the loss of functioning of our lungs. This is one of the main reason for the spread of corona as being quoted by the preliminary researches happened at Harvard University (United States) and Martin Luther University (Halle-Wittenberg in Germany).

An overall impact of global warming is apparent in the form rise in temperatures of different regions of the world which is the foremost factor for the evolution and mutations in the pathogens spreading a vast variety of infectious diseases. John Hopkins university has published a studied related to climate change that clearly says that emergence of new heat tolerant diseases can put in danger one of the main natural defense which is fever which in short is an ability of mammals through which they can fight infections by maintain high body temperature.

Changes in the rainfall pattern have reduced the fresh water supplies and has led to the increase in trachoma-an eye infection, and diarrhea. Some diarrheal diseases such as salmonellosis and campylobacteriosis, are common with higher temperatures, though patterns may differ by region and causative pathogen. Diarrheal diseases have also been found to occur more frequently in conjunction with both unusually high and low precipitation. Rise in sea levels due to irregular rainfall has also increased the risk of water-borne diseases like cholera. Flood water is also a home for breeding mosquitos. The extent of warm weather have increased the reproduction rate of the microbes spreading the diseases.

In short, climate change a key factor along with natural and man-made environmental stressors have increased the risk of microbial diseases. This risk is not just limited to human race but many plant and animal species are also majorly effected. Climate change have become a great challenge for the survival of most of the species, with this there is an increased risk in the respiratory, cardiovascular and other metabolic diseases. The recent pandemic is an eye-opener for all of us and has given an opportunity to prioritize our commitments towards termination of the climate change. Many countries have to work together to fight against the prevailing of microbial diseases with climate change. New strategies for combating this change have to be made. And we as ONE has to stand against the impact of climate change as our survival is our stake. With our periodic actions we can easily come over this change within years.

About the Author: Shaista Khalid is persuading MS in bio-sciences. She along with Nida, Atia and Eraj have put a combined effort in writing this article as a assigned project (Climatology).  They have put their efforts to take in view the biggest challenge to combat, i.e. the climate change.


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Unknown said…
nice job keep it up