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Experts Examine Possible Links Between Climate Change and Infectious Disease Transmission
Date:11/20/2009

Dr. Hayden, who is one of the three (Dr. Emily Zielinski-Gutierrez (CDC) and Dr. George Luber (CDC)) program coordinators of a joint NCAR/US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention postdoctoral fellowship combining public health applications and climate science. "The complexity of such influences requires that the next generation of climate and health scientists undergo training to ensure that they can address climate-related public health challenges. Such preparation will be critical as the population of at-risk individuals continues to grow."

"We are moving into the age of 'decision-making' with regard to climate change after decades of focusing on reducing uncertainties in attribution and prediction," added NCAR Director Eric J. Barron, Ph.D., who discussed the potential use of available weather and climate models in health forecasting. "Health has huge potential and should be first in line for greater investment to improve the decision-making process because of its clear ties to weather and climate. Whereas the medical community has tended to respond in a 'point-of-service' manner - reacting to incoming cases with almost no discipline of forecasting - health/climate forecasting has real potential if we can design monitoring algorithms or a robust predictive capability."

"The changing climate will likely bring infectious diseases to the forefront of the public health consciousness in the years and decades to come," said Thomas Wellems, MD, Ph.D., president of ASTMH. "We salute the NCAR and its research scientists for drawing attention to this growing challenge, which can only be met through concerted effort by the global community."

About the ASTMH

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), founded in 1903, is a worldwide organization of scientists, clinicians and program professionals whose mission is to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other di
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SOURCE The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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