Climate Change Heightening Risk of Global Infectious Illnesses

March 6, 2023 13:27:33

The COVID-19 pandemic showed us just how quickly an infectious disease can spread in our modern interconnected world. Just a few months after the disease was first discovered in Wuhan, China, it had spread to most continents and shut down dozens of economies across the world. Even though we are now past the worst of the pandemic, it seems that infectious diseases will keep humanity on its toes for much longer than we thought. A recent analysis has revealed that climate change has significantly increased the world’s risk of infectious diseases.

The analysis states that climate change has already upped the risk of close to 60% of all infectious diseases. Droughts floods, rising temperatures and heat waves caused by climate change are making the world more susceptible to disease outbreaks, the analysis found, and accelerating the spread of numerous viruses, fungi, and bacteria. This includes pathogens that cause food and waterborne infections as well as diseases such as dengue fever and Lyme disease.

As climate change disrupts the planet’s natural temperature cycle and causes the weather to get more unpredictable and extreme, the risk of infectious diseases will grow even more.

Climate change is giving pathogens that thrive in warmer temperatures access to more geography while pushing people to spend more time outdoors, increasing their risk of exposure to infectious diseases. From 2004–2018, the CDC estimates that reports of illnesses caused by disease-carrying fleas, ticks and mosquitos doubled.

Experts believe that on top of infections from known pathogens, new infectious diseases will appear. Infectious disease epidemiologist and New York City Health + Hospitals senior director Dr. Syra Madad noted that there has been an acceleration in the emergence and reemergence of infectious disease threats.

Although dozens of countries have pledged to cut their carbon emissions as part of global efforts to combat climate change, it will take some time before we can stop, let alone reverse, the premature heating of the atmosphere. Recent energy shortages coupled with soaring energy prices have forced several countries to turn back to coal, one of the dirtiest energies, for energy production.

If the risk of infectious ailments increases alongside climate change and climate disruptions, the recent pandemic may not be the last time the world is thrown into a loop by an infectious disease.

Tackling the problem would require investment in solutions to cut greenhouse gas emissions and curb environmental pollution. It would also call for public education on pathogen risk, the advantages of keeping up to date on vaccines, and focusing on great nutrition and hygiene.

The analysis’ findings were reported in the “Nature Climate Change” journal.

Enterprises such as BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are seeing opportunities in this growing disease risk, and they are developing novel ways to combat the increased threat posed by infectious diseases as climate change takes its toll.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (NASDAQ: BVXV) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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