I'm looking forward to potentially meeting with members of Sacred Valley Health to talk about the impacts of Global Warming on the Sacred Valley in the region of Cusco. One of the topics that I am still learning about is the impact of global warming on vector-borne disease. This report in Scientific American states that Perú is already seeing an increase in communicable diseases such as dengue, bartonellosis and malaria. The impact of global warming may be compounded by the effects of mining, deforestation, and of course, poverty.
"If clean water sources dry up, people re-use water or turn to unsafe sources. They also store water in containers, creating breeding grounds for disease-bearing mosquitoes. And if their crops fail — because of drought or plant diseases, which also respond to a changing climate — they may be forced to move to the city.
"It's a constant trickle," Corvalán said. "Families migrate, they disappear in the system. It is very difficult to track what is happening to them."
In urban shantytowns, people often lack running water or sewer service, and the stress of poverty and unemployment can lead to alcoholism, domestic violence and mental illness, Corvalán said. Those who try their luck in the United States may unwittingly introduce tropical diseases there. In December 2006, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a test to detect Chagas' disease, caused by a tropical parasite that affects the heart, in the U.S. blood supply."
Read more about climate change and communicable disease here and here, and we'll be writing more for you soon!