By Peter McLaren-Kennedy •
Updated: 09 Nov 2022 • 16:35
Mosquito - Credit Pixabay
A report issued by the EEA on Wednesday, November 9 said that the impact of climate change on human health is becoming more and more evident.
The report “Climate change as a threat to health and well-being in Europe: focus on heat and infectious diseases” suggests that health authorities will need to take action to protect Europe’s population. They also suggest that more will need to be done to make the general public aware of the issue.
Fatalities in Europe, because of climate sensitive infectious diseases will according to the EEA, rise and will become an increasing burden for health authorities if not dealt with now.
They also make reference to the ageing population and the effect of heatwaves, with more than 15,000 people having died as a result of this year’s summer heatwaves.
Facilities they say will need to be adapted to cope with the higher temperatures, including schools, hospitals and office buildings. Workers exposed to the environment will also need better protection and greater education on what action they will need to take to protect themselves.
The EEA says governments will need to rise to the challenge by creating new guidance and statutes that result in more shaded areas, green spaced, appropriate building design and working conditions. They also suggest working times may need to change in some areas.
Perhaps most concerning is that the EEA believes that infectious diseases that have in the past not been able to survive in the cooler European climate, will become more commonplace. That could see diseases like malaria, dengue and west Nile fever taking foothold.
They add that these are more likely to affect the vulnerable as well as those working outdoors, which could cause some staffing issues in a number of industries.
Warmer temperatures also mean warmer waters, and that could affect fish stocks as well result in dangerous bacteria breeding in local shellfish. Dealing with disease in fish could be expensive but may also require mass programmes to protect stock and livelihoods.
The EEA report provides bleak reading with few health systems or governments ready for the climate change that will bring more mosquitoes, infectious diseases and deaths due to the heat.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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