Grobusch LC, Grobusch MP
Int J Infect Dis - (-) - [2021-12-29; online 2021-12-29]
COVID-19 pandemic aside, climate change is the ultimate challenge of our time. However, to date, there has been insufficient political thrust to make that much-needed climate action a reality. Infectious diseases represent only one facet of the threats arising from climate change. Direct impacts from climate change include the more frequent occurrence and increased magnitude of extreme weather events, as well as changing temperatures and precipitation patterns. For climate-sensitive infectious diseases, these changes implicate a shift in geographic and temporal distribution, seasonality, and transmission intensity. Susceptibility to deleterious effects of climate change is a net result not only of the interplay of environmental factors but also governed by human, societal, and economic factors, with social inequalities being a major determinant of vulnerability. The global South is already disproportionately affected by the climate crisis. The financial capacity to pursue adaptation options is also limited and unevenly distributed. Climate change-induced mortality and morbidity from both infectious and non-infectious diseases, amongst other adverse scenarios, is expected to rise globally in the future. The coming decade will be crucial for using all opportunities left to develop and implement adequate mitigation- and adaptation strategies.