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Climate Change and Infectious Diseases among Vulnerable Populations

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Handbook of Social Sciences and Global Public Health


The health impacts of climate change, like climate change itself, involve complex and multifactorial interactions. This chapter focuses on how climate change exacerbates the impact of infectious diseases, particularly those that are vector- or water-borne, among vulnerable populations. In this context, the chapter proposes four pathways to impact on human health: the viability, distribution, and variety of vectors of disease transmission (with climate patterns capable of both positively and negatively influencing vector threats); the vulnerability of humans (for instance, the impact of climate change on immune responses); interactions between the biosphere and demographic factors (leading to, for example, a greater concentration of human populations in vulnerable sites); and finally, the impact on a nation’s or region’s economy (and thus on healthcare), which will ultimately determine the degree to which governments are able to mitigate climate impacts. These four pathways are inextricably linked in a manner that makes accurate predictions extremely challenging. This suggests an urgent need to build in resilience and flexibility when preparing global health systems to cope with unpredictable and frequently extreme weather events.

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Correspondence to Andrew W. Taylor-Robinson .

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Taylor-Robinson, A.W., Muurlink, O.T. (2023). Climate Change and Infectious Diseases among Vulnerable Populations. In: Liamputtong, P. (eds) Handbook of Social Sciences and Global Public Health. Springer, Cham.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-96778-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-030-96778-9

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Social SciencesReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

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