Climate change bug warning

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health has produced a statement that’s worth reading, dealing with an aspect of climate change that rarely makes it onto the front pages:

…it would be complacent to think that diseases that are now present on the European continent and were once considered “exotic and confined to far away places” like Dengue Fever, Malaria and Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic fever will not emerge in the UK.

It should be noted though that, historically speaking, malaria is no stranger to British shores. The key point is not warming, but wet. Malaria is a serious problem as far north as Siberia, where, during the summer months, mosquitoes find ideal conditions: large expanses of shallow, stagnant water. These conditions will become more widespread in the UK, due to increased rainfall and encroaching salt marshes.

Note too that:

Modern living conditions, urban sprawl [and …changes in climate] make the spread of pests and pest-borne diseases increasingly likely.

Incidentally, this short post is the result of several hours of critical reading and it’s taught me an important lesson: if an article on climate change looks interesting, go straight to the source material behind it before reading the article itself. Jamie Doward’s piece in the Observer was more ‘churnalism’ than journalism.

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