Climate Change Factors Into Disease Spread Worldwide, UNEP Executive Director Says

The Hill: U.N. links climate change to Zika, Ebola
“…In a speech [last] week, the executive director of the U.N.’s Environment Programme (UNEP) said officials should take a more aggressive stance toward climate change, highlighting studies that show nearly a quarter of premature deaths around the world can be attributed to environmental problems…” (Henry, 2/19).

New York Times: In Zika Epidemic, a Warning on Climate Change
“…Already, climate change is suspected — though not proved — to have been a factor in a string of disease outbreaks afflicting both people and animals. These include the spread of malaria into the highlands of eastern Africa, the rising incidence of Lyme disease in North America, and the spread of a serious livestock ailment called bluetongue into parts of Europe that were once too cold for it to thrive. In interviews, experts noted that no epidemic was ever the result of a single variable…” (Gillis, 2/20).

U.N. News Centre: From asthma to Zika, U.N. tackles links between environment and health
“The list of health conditions that can be linked to environmental pollution and degradation is long and growing, including skin cancer, lung cancer, asthma, lead poisoning, mercury poisoning, malaria, Ebola, and Zika, according to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). ‘The spread of Zika, just as with Ebola, has sent a strong signal to the international community that there is a need for increased attention to the linkages between environment and health,’ UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said [Thursday]…” (2/19).

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