Journal of Urban Health

, Volume 78, Issue 2, pp 367–371 | Cite as

West Nile virus and the climate

Special Feature: West Nile Virus: Public Health Issues Raised by an Emerging Illness

Abstract

West Nile virus is transmitted by urban-dwelling mosquitoes to birds and other animals, with occasional “spillover” to humans. While the means by which West Nile virus was introduced into the Americas in 1999 remain unknown, the climatic conditions that amplify diseases that cycle among urban mosquitoes, birds, and humans are warm winters and spring droughts. This information can be useful in generating early warning systems and mobilizing timely and the most environmentally friendly public health interventions. The extreme weather conditions accompanying long-term climate change may also be contributing to the spread of West Nile virus in the United States and Europe.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Albritton DL, Allen MR, Baede APM, et al.Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I Summary for Policy Makers, Third Assessment Report: Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. Available at: http://www.ipcc.ch. Accessed 2001.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Easterling DR, Meehl GA, Parmesan C, Changnon SA, Karl TR, Mearns LO. Climate extremes: observations, modeling, and impacts.Science. 2000;289:2068–2074.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Levitus S, Antonov JI, Boyer TP, Stephens C. Warming of the world ocean.Science. 2000;287:2225–2229.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Parkinson CL, Cavalieri DJ, Gloersen P, Zwally HJ, Comiso JC. Spatial distribution of trends and seasonality in the hemispheric sea ice covers.J Geophys Res. 1999;104(C9): 20827–20835.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Rothrock DA, Yu Y, Marykut GA. Thinning of the Arctic Sea ice cover.J Geophys Res Lett. 1999;26:3469–3472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Epstein P. Is global warming harmful to health?Sci Am. 2000;283(2):50–57.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Monath TP, Tsai TF. St. Louis encephalitis: lessons from the last decade.Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1987;37:40s-59s.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    World Health Organization.The World Health Report 1996: Fighting Disease, Fostering Development. Geneva, Switzerland; World Health Organization; 1996.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    McMichael AJ, Haines A, Slooff R, eds.Climate Change and Human Health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, World Meteorological Organization, United Nations Environmental Program; 1996.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Houghton J, Meiro Filho LG, Callander BA, Harris N, Kattenberg A, Maskell K (eds.).Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1996. Climate Change 1995: The Science of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group I to the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The New York Academy of Medicine 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Health and the Global EnvironmentHarvard Medical SchoolBostonMassachusetts

Personalised recommendations