“In the context of climate change we know there will be another pandemic. We know that environmental hazards and antimicrobial resistance will have a profound impact on health and society.” [UKHSA strategy]
Things are getting hotter – and how this will affect our health is an increasing concern: Government rolls out new health alerting service to tackle extreme heat concerns | UK Healthcare News
Last month, the i-news reported on a new government strategy on handling future pandemics:
Next pandemic likely to be driven by climate change, UKHSA warns
The agency which led the UK’s battle against Covid is publishing a 10-year science strategy designed to increase preparedness for the next pandemic and limit the effects of global warming on human health. The science strategy cites research showing that more than 200 infectious diseases and dozens of non-transmissible conditions have already been exacerbated by climate change.
Rising temperatures risk insect-borne diseases being pushed further out of the tropics, while severe drought in parts of the world has forced animal and human populations to live closer together, fuelling the risk of zoonotic, or animal-to-human infections, such as Covid-19. Increased risk of flooding also has a direct effect on public health. The UKHSA strategy says: “In the context of climate change we know there will be another pandemic. We know that environmental hazards and antimicrobial resistance will have a profound impact on health and society.”
With more on the government’s press release:
Our developments include a new Centre for Climate and Health Security, including delivering a 5-year assessment report on the Health Effects of Climate Change. UKHSA 10-year science strategy launches to secure health and prosperity – GOV.UK
Meanwhile, this week, there have been further reports on the preparedness of the government when it comes to pandemics, both past and future: Overall issue was capacity to deal with pandemic, UK Covid-19 Inquiry hears | Evening Standard
To what extent, though, should we be concerned about reports in the media about potential ‘pandemics’ and climate change?
Helpful information, or sensationalism? More sensible warnings, or more eco-anxiety?
Here are just a couple of reports from this week:
Diseases passed from animals will become more frequent as we have more contact with wildlife due to habitat destruction and climate change. 16 species of bat in UK could trigger the next Covid-like pandemic – Wales Online
Brits are facing the “highly likely” arrival of a deadly disease due to climate change that kills nearly every second patient. Scientists have been telling MPs about the dangers of new illnesses that are arriving in the UK, as the government attempts to prepare for new pandemics. New deadly virus ‘highly likely’ to arrive in the UK in latest climate change warning – Mirror Online
Finally, the issue has been very much discussed over the last couple of years: Covid and ecology – Vision Group for Sidmouth and Covid, the environment and the spread of zoonotic diseases – Vision Group for Sidmouth and Bats, disrupted ecosystems and Covid – Vision Group for Sidmouth
Unless you’re conspiratorially-minded: “Welcome to Narnia”: Totnes, Transition Town & Conspiracyland – Vision Group for Sidmouth