Global warming is defined as a serious phenomenon recently and also it will impact the human health. The impact of the global warming on infectious diseases has been highlighted in this paper. The infectious diseases have been emphasized in two major classifications which are the water and the foodborne infectious diseases as well as the vector borne infectious diseases. Even if the global warming is not easy to solve, there are some methods should be taken to mitigate this phenomenon. The study has shown that the global warming has various negative effects on human health including infectious diseases. Keywords: global warming, infectious disease, waterborne infection, vector borne infection 1. Introduction
As Khasnis & Nettleman’s (2005) study stated the following: The concept of global warming requires a basic understanding of the greenhouse effect. Solar radiation passes through the atmosphere and is absorbed at the Earth’s surface. This heat is lost from the earth’s surface as infrared radiation. The infrared radiation cannot escape the atmosphere as easily as the solar radiation enters. Some of it is trapped by a number of gases which act similar to the glass in a greenhouse—heat can enter but cannot exit—resulting in the Greenhouse Effect. (p. 690) As everyone knows that global warming is defined as the increase of the average temperature on Earth. The temperature on Earth will rise significantly when heat from the sun is trapped in Earth’s atmosphere. It is also known as the main reason that causes damages to the ozone layer.
Besides that, natural disasters, such as hurricanes; droughts; and floods, are becoming more frequent. The temperature at the Earth’s Poles is also rising rapidly. The major factors leading to global warming are greenhouse effects and deforestations. In the past years, the impacts of global warming were not noticed or taken seriously by the public because the situation was not widespread and serious. In the recent years, global warming is unambiguously becoming a phenomenon that relates to the human health. This is because the global warming influences the development of infectious disease. Thus, this situation has become a hot topic in all sectors of the community. What are the impacts of global warming on infectious disease? The warming of the temperature influences two major infectious diseases. These two major infectious diseases are water and food borne infection, as well as, vector borne infection. 2. Water and Food Borne Infection
The water is a significant necessity to all organisms on the Earth that used to sustain their life. Nevertheless, the water quality is getting worse because of the impact of global warming. This will affect the human health seriously. As the water borne diseases are mainly related to the impact of global warming on the hydrologic cycle and the sewage system. Firstly, the hydrologic cycle is the water of ground and ocean through the evaporation and the transpiration into vapor, when water vapor rose to a certain height and condenses into the clouds, and then rainfall. Global warming that the temperature of atmospheric and water rise, accelerate the hydrologic cycle. The rising temperature of atmospheric leads to the speeding up of evaporation and then generates the overmuch rainfall, flood and drought. These phenomena will accelerate the waterborne infectious diseases.
The overmuch rainfall and flood will generate the wet temperature that is suitable to the bacteria for breeding. On the other hand, the drought will lead to the water shortage and the water pollution and then cause the breeding of the bacteria. In this case, the water and food supply as well as sewage system that are not fully functional are the main instigators for spreading water and the foodborne infectious diseases, especially in the developing countries (Kurane, 2010). The reason is because most of bacteria, viruses and protozoa that generate the pathogens are breeding in the reservoir and the water storage tank. When the water and food supply as well as sewage system do not operating well，the pathogens will enter the human body through drinking water. This will lead to some diseases such as Cholera and the diarrheal diseases. Consequently, the level of the social infrastructure affects the degree of the impact on the water and foodborne infectious diseases significantly. 3. Vector Borne Infection
The impacts of the global warming on the vector borne infection are the geographical distribution and the activity of the vectors. In general, the vector-borne infectious diseases are caused by the pathogens transmitted by the arthropods such as the mosquitoes and the ticks. The arthropods are cold blooded that means their internal temperature is significantly influenced by the temperature of their environment. The global warming is accelerating the spread of the disease because the infectious diseases that are transmitted by the arthropods will have a higher rate of transmission in higher temperature. As Epstein (2001) has demonstrated that the temperature which is both frigid or torridity will kill the arthropods; however, the warm and moist temperature that is caused by the global warming is suitable to the arthropods to reproduce and spread the pathogens.
There are two major types of vector borne infectious diseases that are Malaria and dengue fever. These both are transmitted to human through the bites of mosquitoes which carries the pathogens. Shuman (2011) have shown that the causative microorganism and the insect vector of both the Malaria and dengue fever. Malaria is one kind of acute infectious disease which is caused by Plasmodium falciparum. It is mainly infected by the Anopheles. On the other hand, the dengue fever is similar to the Malaria that is one kind of acute infectious disease which is caused by dengue virus. It is infected by the Aedes aegypti and the Aedes albopictus. In general, the Malaria and the dengue fever are more limited their infections in the warm areas such as the tropical and subtropical regions. Nevertheless, the global warming is beneficial to expand and increase the development of these diseases. 4. Methods
Global warming has become a ‘trend’ that is not easier to change, but there are some methods must be implemented to mitigate this phenomenon. As everyone knowing, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is the main reason that causes the global warming. Thus, the simplest method that individuals can do is to reduce the generation of CO2. Weber (2010) has illustrated that “meeting energy needs with non-polluting sources can be the first step towards the rational use of Earth’s finite resources and a reduction in the generation of wastes” (p. 752). Hence, everyone needs to practice the three “R’s” which are reduce, reuse and recycle. First step, people need to choose the reusable products instead of disposables to reduce wasting.
Besides that, people can recycle the paper, plastic, newspaper, glass and aluminum cans whenever possible. If there is not a recycling program at the workplace, school, or in the community, people can ask about starting one to the relevant units. Moreover, people may able to start carpooling to reduce the greenhouse gases such as CO2 and Methane that are released by cars. The use of air-conditioning must be reduced because the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) that generated by the air conditioner will damage the atmosphere. Other than that, the mass media can play a role to encourage public to implement the ‘3R’ concept. Government should also increase the penalty regarding the deforestation. All sector of the community must work together to execute these methods. 5. Discussion
Global warming has become an increasingly serious problem and also threatens the human health. Since the great majority of infectious diseases spread rapidly that are caused by the global warming. There are two particularly highlighted infectious diseases that are water and food borne infection, as well as, vector borne infection. It must be mentioned that most of the waterborne and vector-borne pathogens are particularly sensitive to higher temperature and rainfall. The impact of the global warming on the water and food borne infection is relevant to the hydrologic cycle and the sewage system.
The hydrologic cycle that loss the balance will increase the breeding of bacteria. The degree of the impact on the water and foodborne infectious diseases is notably impacted by the level of the social infrastructure such as the water and food supply as well as sewage system. In addition, there are two major types of vector borne infectious diseases that are Malaria and dengue fever. The global warming generates the suitable temperature to accelerate the development of these vectors borne infection. At the end, some methods ought to carry out to mitigate the global warming. 6. Conclusion
In this advanced generation, people are living in a very convenient and comfortable life. Thus, public have forgotten the crisis around them such as the global warming. However, it cannot be denied that the global warming significantly affects the human health. This is because the global warming accelerates the development of the infectious disease that are water and food borne infection, as well as, vector borne infection. The impact of the global warming on the infectious diseases is critical and serious. Consequently, everyone should mention this phenomenon and play an important role to conserve mother nature not only for themselves, but for the future generations.
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