Climate Change May Fuel Spread of Diseases

Meaner allergy seasons and nastier asthma attacks in the U.S. are already symptoms of climate change but looming next is the advance of once-distant diseases to American soil, President Barack Obama warned.


In an interview with NBC News medical contributor Dr. Natalie Azar, the president was asked if he shares the concern of some who believe climate change has hastened the spread of insect-borne diseases like West Nile Virus — the first domestic cases of which emerged in New York City in 1999.


“It is inevitable that if temperatures rise … certain diseases that traditionally have been localized in warmer climates are going to start creeping up into more temperate climates,” Obama said. “That’s just adaptation by insects and other critters that spread disease.”


He added: “It’s a significant concern. We haven’t had to deal with things like dengue fever in the past, but if you go south, into Central America, that’s a problem. That traditionally is a problem in higher elevations or in jungles. If, suddenly, you start seeing those in cities, that means that they’re more likely to spread here.”


Read More: Obama: Climate Change May Fuel Spread of Diseases – NBC