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Europe Faces Threat Of Rise In Infectious Diseases

A leading scientist had stated today that the changing climates of the worlds could lead to diseases and infection that are not normally seen in Europe. //

Professor Paul Hunter, of the University of East Anglia in England, had earlier today stated at a British science conference that the unpredictable weather, which is causing floods and drought, would also lead to increased changes in the incidence of infectious disease.

Speaking at the conference he said, "There are already significant indications of disease burden occurring in Europe as a result of climate change." He stated that an illness called Vibrio vulnificus that is seen particularly in the gulf states of the US, caused by a marine organism has been reported in three people when they were swimming in the Baltic Sea. Hunter also reported that a death had also occurred in Denmark. The disease is usually acquired on consumption of shellfish, or through swimming with an open wound in infected water that could cause skin infection and other symptoms and that could often be fatal. The causative organism usually thrives in waters that are 20 degrees Centigrade (68 degrees Fahrenheit) or higher.

It was also reported that many people of the Italian coast have also been infected by Ostreopsis ovata, which is an organism that has now been able to extend its habitat because of warmer seawaters. Hunter further said, "Over 100 holidaymakers have been reported as taken to hospital with a variety of symptoms, including diarrhoea, skin rashes and hay fever type illnesses."

Stating that the incidence of another condition that is known as Crimea Haemorrhagic Fever has been seen recently in areas where it had not previously been a problem, hunter said, "The view is that it is not because of warmer summers but because winters are not as cold as they used to be." He also added, "There are already very clear signals that infectious diseases are changing as a result of climate change."

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