Navigation Links
Global warming linked to European viral epidemic
Date:1/15/2009

An epidemic of the viral disease nephropathia epidemica (NE) has been linked to increases in the vole population caused by hotter summers, milder winters and increased seedcrop production by broadleaf trees. Research published in BioMed Central's open access International Journal of Health Geographics links outbreaks of this rodent-borne disease to known effects of global warming.

Dr Jan Clement from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at Belgium's Rega Institute (University of Leuven) worked with a team of medical researchers and bioscience-engineers to investigate outbreaks of NE in Belgium. Dr. Clement founded the Belgian Hantavirus Reference Centre in 1985, and noted that of the 2,200 cases since then, 828 (37.6%) occurred in just the last three years, 2005-2007. The epidemic has been shown to extend to neighboring countries such as France, Germany, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg. He said, "This animal-borne disease, scarcely known before 1990, has been increasing in incidence in Belgium with a cyclic pattern, reaching epidemic proportions since 2005. The fact that the growing combined effect of hotter summer and autumn seasons is matched by the growth of NE in recent years means this epidemic can be considered an effect of global warming".

NE is caused by infection with Puumala virus (PUUV), which is spread by the bank vole, a rodent common throughout most of Europe. The authors believe that warmer weather causes increases in the amount of 'mast', plant seeds from oak and beech trees, that forms the voles' staple diet. This plethora of food results in increases in the vole population and warm summers raise the chances that people will visit the forests where the voles live. According to Clement, "Since 1993, each NE peak has been preceded by increased autumnal mast formation the year before, resulting in yearly NE numbers significantly higher than those during the mast years themselves".

PUUV is a hantavirus, a group of viruses known to cause hemorrhagic fevers (fevers combined with bleeding disorders). NE is a relatively mild hemorrhagic fever that causes flu-like symptoms often with renal complications, sometimes also with pulmonary problems, needing Intensive Care treatment, such as acute dialysis and/or mechanical ventilation. In some rare cases it can, moreover, cause the shock with internal haemorrhaging and death for which these infections are infamous. Clement said, "In 1997, more than 9,000 people in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan contracted the disease, of which 34 cases were fatal".


'/>"/>

Contact: Graeme Baldwin
graeme.baldwin@biomedcentral.com
44-020-707-94804
BioMed Central
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Decline of carbon-dioxide-gobbling plankton coincided with ancient global cooling
2. Lifecycles of tropical cyclones predicted in global computer model
3. USC researchers head global effort to study genetic risks that contribute to psychiatric diseases
4. Using water to understand human society, from the industrial revolution to global trade
5. Light pollution offers new global measure of coral reef health
6. Global warming is changing organic matter in soil
7. Issues at intersection of climate change and health impact global well-being
8. UI researchers help to improve carbon measurements in global climate studies
9. Global warming link to amphibian declines in doubt
10. Less than one month to opening of world’s largest global congress on osteoporosis
11. Global warming predicted to hasten carbon release from peat bogs
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/4/2017)... , Jan. 4, 2017  CES 2017 – ... biometric sensor technology, today announced the launch of ... sensor systems, the highly-accurate biometric sensor modules that ... biometric technology, experience and expertise. The two new ... designed specifically for hearables, and Benchmark BW2.0, a ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... The rising popularity of mobility services ... stoking significant interest in keyless access systems. Following ... energy (BLE), biometrics and near-field communication (NFC) are ... wireless technologies in the automotive industry. This evolution ... systems opens the market to specialist companies such ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Biometric ... to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in terms of value, ... to 2021. The market is estimated to be USD 442.7 Million ... The growth of the biometric vehicle access system market is fueled ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/18/2017)... , Jan. 18, 2017   Boston Biomedical ... compounds designed to target cancer stemness pathways, will feature ... compound, napabucasin, at the 2017 ASCO Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium, ... . Napabucasin is an orally-administered ... targeting STAT3. i Cancer stem cells (CSCs) possess ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Total ... successfully implanted SpineFrontier’s A-CIFT™ Solofuse-P™. The operation took place on Wednesday, January 11, ... The procedure was an anterior cervical discectomy and fusion on a 42 year ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... , ... Researchers from a new study are stating that if levels of the ... treatment, this indicates there is still remaining prostate cancer cells that are more likely to ... has always been an indicator of whether a man’s prostate cancer is growing or ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... Thirty-six startup companies in University City ... Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in 2016 as part of the Keystone ... University City Keystone Innovation Zone and represent the highest number of awards to the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: