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Effect of climatic changes on the prevalence of zoonotic diseases

Author(s): Neelam Sachan and V.P.Singh

Journal: Veterinary World
ISSN 0972-8988

Volume: 3;
Issue: 11.000;
Start page: 519;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Global warming | zoonotic diseases | avian influenza | swine flue | Japanese encephalitis | nipah virus | rabies | leptospirosis

Combustion of fossil fuels and human activities has led to sharp increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These climate changes have tremendous effect on prevalence of zoonotic diseases. The changes in climate may increase the insect vectors, prolong transmission cycles or increase the importation of vectors or animal reservoirs. It may also have an adverse effect on biodiversity, distribution of animals and microflora which may lead to emergence of zoonotic disease outbreaks. A historical perspective on major vector-borne diseases such as arboviral encephalitides, dengue fever and Rift Valley fever, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, malaria, plague, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome and dengue fever have been shown to have a distinct seasonal pattern and in some instances their frequency has been shown to be weather sensitive. Because of the sensitivities of the vectors and animal hosts of these diseases to climactic factors, climate change-driven ecological changes such as variations in rainfall and temperature could significantly alter the range, seasonality and human incidence of many zoonotic and vector-borne diseases. The evolution of emerging zoonotic diseases globally during the period 1996 to 2007 was Ebola haemorrhagic fever, Rift Valley fever, avian influenza H5N1, plague and Nipah virus. Whereas, bird flu and swine flu like diseases are still creating havoc for human and animal health worldwide. It is a today’s and tomorrow’s demand that interdisciplinary communication between health professionals, veterinarians, environmental scientists, ecologists, geographers and economists seeking to understand climate change will be key to protecting people in India and worldwide against these threats. Rigorous cross-disciplinary studies using a variety of methodological tools will enable us to predict the transmission dynamics of diseases under different climate scenarios and estimate the cost-effectiveness of mitigation strategies. In this text some of important diseases which are dependant on global warming and climate changes have been discussed taken for and can change their prevalence rate is considered for discussion. [Veterinary World 2010; 3(11.000): 519-522]
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