June 26, 2008
Global Warning Can Cause Mass Infections
A U.S.-led international team of scientists said it's determined extreme climatic weather events can produce a sharp increase in infectious diseases.
The scientists, led by University of California-Davis researchers, said they determined how climate extremes associated with global warning -- such as the increased frequency of droughts and floods -- can create conditions in which diseases that are tolerated individually might converge and cause mass deaths among livestock or wildlife.The study suggests such conditions are capable of altering normal host-pathogen relationships, causing a perfect storm of multiple infectious outbreaks that could trigger epidemics with catastrophic mortality.
The research is detailed in the online journal PLoS One.