Experts and doctors agree that climate change affects health in several ways.
Between 2030 and 2050, climate change could cause an additional 250,000 deaths, according to forecasts of the World Health Organization (WHO). These deaths will be caused by different causes. Heat exposure of older people, diarrhea, malaria or malnutrition of children and vulnerable people
“ Like any phenomenon of slow disaster there is not a single cause that leads to a consequence. This is a set of events “, may affect human health, said Dr. Patrice Halimi, Secretary General of the Environment Health Association France, the Tribune de Genève. For example, this is not the global warming that directly causes an epidemic, but the weather conditions become favorable to its spread. Additionally, the exact share of global warming is now difficult to determine.
The direct and indirect damage of climate change will also have economic consequences, between two and four billion dollars a year by 2030 , according to WHO calculations.
Excess mortality and spread of diseases
The scorching temperatures cause death from cardiovascular or respiratory diseases among the most vulnerable people in particular. These heat waves have always existed but are becoming more frequent and intense. The sun and UV exposure also cause more skin problems, which may result in skin cancer.
Climate change also contributes to more natural disasters, such as floods and hurricanes. “ Every year, these disasters have caused more than 60,000 deaths, mainly in developing countries ,” said the World Health Organisation.
The climate also has a great influence on malaria, which kills over 800,000 people per year according to WHO figures. In fact, mosquitoes are highly sensitive to weather conditions. “ Warming favors the spread of infectious diseases that depend on vectors such as mosquitoes ” says Dr. Halimi. In addition, climate change is likely to contribute to lengthen the transmission season of vector-borne diseases. This may also have an impact on the geographical distribution of these diseases.
It is also the source of increased concentrations of ozone, which affects people who suffer from chronic respiratory diseases, such as asthma. This also increases pollution from fine particles, which can cause lung cancer or cardiovascular disease.