Public Health

Global Warming Is World's Biggest Health Threat?

Good morning.

We're not yet past the swine flu but already there are warnings of another global health threat — climate change. A new report out is getting plenty of attention. Here's that and some other morsels to get us started this morning:

BloombergGlobal Warming May Exceed Infections as Health Threat:
A new report from University College London and published in The Lancet journal warns that global warming is "the biggest public health threat of the 21st century, eclipsing infectious diseases, water shortages and poverty." More: "A warmer planet will flood cities, leading to mass migration of coastal-dwelling residents and triggering wars as resources such as food and water become scarcer, the researchers said. Rising temperatures will spread diseases like malaria and increase deaths from flooding, drought and more intense storms," according to the report.

ReutersNew Tool Can Help Predict Alzheimer's Risks:
"U.S. researchers have developed a checklist that can accurately predict whether a person over 65 is at high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease within six years. The checklist of risk factors like slowness of mind or movement predicted about half the cases of dementia that developed in a group of elderly people over a six year period, the researchers reported in the journal Neurology on Wednesday."

Associated PressSwine Flu Update:
According to WHO, there have now been some 6,298 confirmed cases of swine flu in 33 countries, including 3,352 in the United States. Sixty three deaths have been attributed to the virus and 58 of those were in Mexico.

NPR's Jason BeaubienSwine Flu Takes Toll On Mexico Tourism Industry:
"Mexico's economy is heavily dependent on revenue from foreigners. But swine flu hit the country hard and, in turn, damaged Mexico's image abroad. Mexico's tourism minister, Rodolfo Elizondo, predicts that the number of international visitors could drop in the coming weeks to 'almost zero.'"



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.