Monday, April 14, 2014

Climate change adaptation tool helps predict disease risk

The Poultry Site: A tool to calculate the risk of food and waterborne diseases under current or future climate change conditions has been established following a recent EU funded study. Free to use, the online tool can help guide climate change adaptation, such as improvements to water management, by estimating the likelihood of contracting four diseases under a range of environmental conditions.

It is known that climate affects health, for example, excess rainfall can cause sewage overflow, leading to outbreaks of waterborne disease, and higher temperatures can influence disease incidence by either encouraging or restricting pathogen reproduction, depending on the species.

Concerns have therefore been raised about the impacts of climate change on public health. In response to a World Health Organization call for new decision-support tools to assess climate change’s potential health impacts, the authors of this EU-funded study,A Decision Support Tool to Compare Waterborne and Foodborne Infection and/or Illness Risks Associated with Climate Change, J Schijven, M Bouwknegt, A M de Roda Husman et al developed a software package to assess the risk from climate change (CC-QMRA: Climate Change Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment).

This study was funded by the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), an agency of the EU. It estimates the risk of infection by norovirus, Cryptosporidium, and Campylobacter and non-cholera Vibrio species, which can all cause gastroenteritis....

Feeding chickens in Hungary, shot by Civertan, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license 

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