Natural disasters, tropical diseases, and other climate-related crises have prompted public health officials in Texas (and several other states) to issue a warning. After all, climate change has the unprecedented potential to make several regions of the United States uninhabitable.
More than 200 of the world's most respected medical journals recently joined forces to issue a joint statement urging everyone to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change, which they claim is the greatest danger to the future of the United States (and the world). Quoting the statement:
"Health is already being harmed by global temperature increases and the destruction of the natural world, a state of affairs health professionals have been bringing attention to for decades. The science is unequivocal: a global increase of 1.5° C above the pre-industrial average and the continued loss of biodiversity risk catastrophic harm to health that will be impossible to reverse. Despite the world's necessary preoccupation with Covid-19, we cannot wait for the pandemic to pass to rapidly reduce emissions."
According to the CDC, Texas will experience a lot of extreme weather events due to climate change over the next few decades. "Threats are likely to increase in frequency and distribution and are likely to create significant economic burdens. For example, widespread flooding during Hurricane Harvey affected dozens of communities, including those in the Houston and Beaumont metropolitan areas. Immediate effects included deaths from drowning and trauma that claimed the lives of at least 63 individuals. Additionally, more than 30,000 people were evacuated. Displacement of patients from their communities and healthcare providers led to interruptions in medical treatment."
Tropical diseases could become even more prevalent in Texas as temperatures rise due to climate change. After all, mosquitos would be more common throughout the year, thus creating more opportunities for deadly diseases to spread. Quoting an article published by the Environmental Protection Agency:
"Studies show that warmer temperatures associated with climate change can accelerate mosquito development, biting rates, and the incubation of the disease within a mosquito. The effect of climate change on the timing of bird migration and breeding patterns may also contribute to changes in long-range virus movement."
It's worth mentioning that rising temperatures in the Gulf Coast contribute to the rapid spread of dangerous pathogens in bodies of water. For example, Naegleria Fowleri, a brain-eating parasite, and Vibrio Vulnificus, a strain of flesh-eating bacteria have recently been found near Houston.
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This article is for informational purposes only. It should not be considered health advice. Therefore, please consult a doctor before making any significant medical decisions.
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