Germany’s disease control agency warned Thursday that rising temperatures due to global warming will increase the likelihood of heatstroke, vector-borne diseases and other health risks in the country.
The Robert Koch Institute said lung diseases caused by wildfires and agricultural dust could become a growing problem, as well as skin cancer due to increased ultraviolet radiation as Germany experiences longer periods of cloudless weather.
In the first of the institute’s three reports on the impact of climate change in Germany, published in the journal Health Monitoring, the authors note the recent arrival in the country of Hyalomma ticks – which are capable of carrying the bacterium responsible for typhus – as an example of newly emerging disease threats.
The ticks, as well as the Asian tiger mosquitoes that can spread dengue, yellow fever and the Zika virus, are migrating to new areas that were previously too cold for these species.
Another danger comes from the Vibrio bacteria that thrive in brackish water above temperatures of around 20°C. Pathogens can enter the body through tiny cracks in the skin and cause severe illness in people with weakened immune systems unless they are quickly treated with antibiotics.
There have been several cases among swimmers infected with Vibrio bacteria on Germany’s Baltic Sea coast in recent years.
However, the biggest threat comes from prolonged heat waves. Scientists say these will become more frequent and extreme as climate change progresses. The Robert Koch Institute said around 4,500 people died during heatwaves in Germany last year.
© 2023 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
the quote: Government body warns of growing health threats from climate change in Germany (2023, June 1) Retrieved June 1, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-06-body-health-threats-climate-germany. html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without written permission. The content is provided for informational purposes only.