Potential Influence of Climate Change on Vector-borne and Zoonotic Diseases: A Review and Proposed Research Plan

James N. Mills; Kenneth L. Gage; Ali S. Khan


Environ Health Perspect. 2010;118(11):1507-1514. 

In This Article

Application to Public Health

An important product of these studies would be an enhanced ability to initiate mitigation strategies, promulgate early warning information, and target response capabilities. Predictions based on long-term monitoring programs and forecasting models should be quickly disseminated to local, state, and international public health partners. In consultation with those partners, intervention strategies should be developed to mitigate the impact of disease on human populations. In response to predictions of increased risk of HPS in the southwestern United States in 1998 and 1999, the CDC, in partnership with several southwestern States, developed and promulgated prevention messages via television, radio, pamphlets and posters. Despite large increases in local rodent host populations, numbers of human cases were lower than in the previous HPS outbreak in 1993/1994 (CDC 1998, 1999).

Prediction and promulgation efforts can be enhanced through integration with several existing U.S. government initiatives directed at climate change, including a) Climate Mapper, which makes the results of climate change models accessible to a broad user community; b) the Malaria Early Warning System, which recently examined rainfall patterns in sub-Saharan Africa using meteorological station data, rainfall estimated from satellite images, and malaria incidence; and c) the Global Earth Observation System of Systems, which is an ambitious undertaking to coordinate disparate earth-observation systems across the world including improved sharing of remote-sensing data.


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