Geography and health: role of human translocation and access to care.

Brattig N, Bergquist R, Vienneau D, Zhou X

Infect Dis Poverty 13 (1) 37 [2024-05-23; online 2024-05-23]

Natural, geographical barriers have historically limited the spread of communicable diseases. This is no longer the case in today's interconnected world, paired with its unprecedented environmental and climate change, emphasising the intersection of evolutionary biology, epidemiology and geography (i.e. biogeography). A total of 14 articles of the special issue entitled "Geography and health: role of human translocation and access to care" document enhanced disease transmission of diseases, such as malaria, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, COVID-19 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome corona 2) and Oropouche fever in spite of spatiotemporal surveillance. High-resolution satellite images can be used to understand spatial distributions of transmission risks and disease spread and to highlight the major avenue increasing the incidence and geographic range of zoonoses represented by spill-over transmission of coronaviruses from bats to pigs or civets. Climate change and globalization have increased the spread and establishment of invasive mosquitoes in non-tropical areas leading to emerging outbreaks of infections warranting improved physical, chemical and biological vector control strategies. The translocation of pathogens and their vectors is closely connected with human mobility, migration and the global transport of goods. Other contributing factors are deforestation with urbanization encroaching into wildlife zones. The destruction of natural ecosystems, coupled with low income and socioeconomic status, increase transmission probability of neglected tropical and zoonotic diseases. The articles in this special issue document emerging or re-emerging diseases and surveillance of fever symptoms. Health equity is intricately connected to accessibility to health care and the targeting of healthcare resources, necessitating a spatial approach. Public health comprises successful disease management integrating spatial surveillance systems, including access to sanitation facilities. Antimicrobial resistance caused, e.g. by increased use of antibiotics in health, agriculture and aquaculture, or acquisition of resistance genes, can be spread by horizontal gene transfer. This editorial reviews the key findings of this 14-article special issue, identifies important gaps relevant to our interconnected world and makes a number of specific recommendations to mitigate the transmission risks of infectious diseases in the post-COVID-19 pandemic era.

Category: Health

Category: Social Science & Humanities

Type: Other

PubMed 38783378

DOI 10.1186/s40249-024-01205-4

Crossref 10.1186/s40249-024-01205-4

pmc: PMC11112907
pii: 10.1186/s40249-024-01205-4

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