專家:全球暖化將使疾病無孔不入 | 環境資訊中心

專家:全球暖化將使疾病無孔不入

2007年05月28日
摘譯自2007年月5日23ENS加拿大,渥太華報導;丁秋仁編譯;莫聞審校

血液中的瘧疾病原蟲現形(照片來源:University of Erlangen)微生物學家於22日一場科學會議中指出,地球氣溫持續升高使得衛生專家的傳染病控制工作變得更吃力。摩斯(Stephen Morse)博士表示,全球暖化的痕跡,可以從瘧疾分佈的海拔高度看出端倪。瘧疾在山區有一定的區域性,由於蚊蟲等傳染媒介無法在高海拔低溫的環境下生存,限制了瘧疾的傳染分佈線。然而一旦氣溫日趨上升,這條線亦隨之上移。

氣溫上升改變的另一項現象就是拉長流行性感冒的好發季節。在熱帶地區,一整年都是流感好發季節,倘若赤道附近的熱帶性氣團向兩極擴張,一些季節錯亂的地區便可能發覺流感疫期已稍稍延長。

極端氣候引發的災難事件也會招致更多的疾病。蘿絲(Joan Rose)博士認為,正因極端氣候災變的頻率、強度和持續性,大幅提升水源帶有傳染病的風險。氣候變遷與傳染疾病的關係也會造成一些間接影響。摩斯博士便警告,全球暖化對農糧的影響,將導致人口遷移失去控制,進而改變疾病的傳染途徑與分佈的地方性。

最後,根據瓦拉(Bernard Vallat)博士的看法,全球暖化的軌跡也可能反映在動物的傳染病上。他認為,「面對這種緊張的情況,最有效的預防方式就是改善公、私營部門的動物健檢系統」。

Global Warming Alarms Infectious Disease Experts
TORONTO, Ontario, Canada, May 23, 2007 (ENS)

Earth's rising temperature means trouble for health experts trying to fight infectious diseases, microbiologists said at a scientific meeting this week. "One of the first indicators of rising global temperatures could be malaria climbing mountains," said Dr. Stephen Morse. In mountain areas where malaria is endemic, the disease is not transmitted above a certain altitude because temperatures are too cold to support the mosquitoes that carry the disease. As temperatures rise, this malaria line will rise as well.

Another change could be lengthening of the flu season. Influenza is a year-round event in the tropics. If the tropical airmass around the Earth's equator expands, as new areas lose their seasons they may also begin to see influenza year-round.

Extreme weather events will also lead to more disease. As the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme weather events change, water supplies become more at risk, said Dr. Joan Rose. Indirect effects of climate change on infectious disease will also appear, said Morse, who warned that the effect of global warming on agriculture could lead to changes in disease transmission and distribution.

Animal diseases are also likely to reflect global warming patterns, according to Dr. Bernard Vallat. "Improving the governance of animal health systems in both the public and private sector is the most effective response to this alarming situation," he said.

全文及圖片詳見 ENS報導