216866 Global spread of infectious diseases by the mass movement of of goods and people in an era of climate change

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Daniel Harrington, ScD , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, Louisiana State University/ Health Sciences Center, School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA
James Diaz Sr., MD, DrPH , School of Public Health-Environmental and Occupational Health, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA
Chih-Yang Hu, MSPH, ScD , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Program, Louisiana State University - School of Public Health, New Orleans, LA
Background: Since 1975, the earth's surface has been warming at a rate of 0.74C. every decade. The WHO has identified the major health consequences of climate change as vulnerability of food supplies, spread of infectious diseases (IDs), and importation of new animal vectors of IDs. Methods: In order to recommend new policy changes for the control of IDs spread by the mass movement of animals, goods, and people, Internet search engines were used to match causative pathogens with their most common hosts, vectors, means of transportation, and disease outcomes. Results: The most common human hosts of imported IDs were returning air travelers with respiratory diseases, most often influenza and SARS, and mosquito-borne diseases, most often dengue and malaria. The most common vectors of IDs included rodents and mosquitoes imported into new ecosystems on ships and aircraft. The most common foodborne disease outbreaks included hepatitis A and E. coli gastroenteritis following consumption of air or ground-imported produce and norovirus gastroenteritis from fecal-oral transmission aboard cruise ships and aircraft. Conclusions: Free trade, economic globalization, and the ease and speed of air travel have offered several unique opportunities to genetically adaptable pathogens in an era of climate change including new pathogen transportation systems, welcoming new ecosystems, new animal vectors of IDs, and more susceptible human hosts in close proximity. Governments have a responsibility to monitor and control the global spread of IDs that threaten public health, to assure safe labor and trade practices, and to produce the safest foods and goods for export.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Environmental health sciences
Epidemiology
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
1. To identify the mechanisms of transmission of infectious diseases by the mass movement of goods and people. 2. To explain the impact of climate change on the global dissemination of infectious diseases. 3. To explain the impact of international trade and travel on the global dissemination of infectious diseases. 4. To formulate new national policies to monitor and to prevent and control the global spread of infectious diseases in a one-world economy.

Keywords: Climate Change, Infectious Diseases

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a co-author of this abstract submission.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.