The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

Review of the Draft Interagency Report on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States (2015)

The U.S. National Climate Assessment identified a number of ways in which climate change is affecting, and is likely to affect, people, infrastructure, natural resources, and ecosystems. Those impacts, in turn, are increasingly having important current and potential future consequences for human health. There is a need to probe more deeply into how climate change impacts on the environment can create environmental stressors that, in turn, are having and/or have the potential to have significant impact on human health in a number of dimensions. In response to this need, the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) has initiated an interagency Scientific Assessment on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States. The Assessment is intended to inform public health authorities, other planning and policy entities, and the general public.

Review of the Draft Interagency Report on the Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States evaluates the scientific basis, findings, and key messages of the USGCRP Draft Assessment. This report offers a number of overarching suggestions on how the USGCRP report authors can enhance their identification and assessment of the science and better communicate their conclusions to all of their target audiences. These recommendations this help the Assessment to play a significant role in continued efforts to examine and explore the impacts of climate change on human health.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Most infectious diseases are not impacted by changes in the environment.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Most infectious diseases are impacted by changes in the environment. Malaria, dengue, and viral encephalitis infections, for example, are highly sensitive to environmental changes.

  • Correct!

    Most infectious diseases are impacted by changes in the environment. Malaria, dengue, and viral encephalitis infections, for example, are highly sensitive to environmental changes.