According to the last scientific advances, it is probable that the climatic change has a significant impact on the environment, and as we have already seen , for human health.
These changes will oblige society to facing new risks and severe pressures, such as lack of foods and hungers, alteration of the hydric resources, damages to the infrastructures (especially for the rise of the sea level and catastrophes caused by effect of the meteorology). In this process, the economic activities, the human settlements, the human populations will experience many direct and indirect effects on health.
The international community have been confronting this situation for years through the Frame Convention on the Climatic Change, adopted in 1992, and which nowadays counts with about 185 members. One of the most significant aspects for which people are fighting, is the stabilization of the “greenhouse gases”.
The World Healt Organizaton (OMS), is developing the “Program on Health and Climatic Change” that aims for the evaluation of the effects on the health of the Climatic Change. Most of the activities were carried out through projects in collaboration, among them, and it stands out the project “Climatic Change and adoption of strategies for the human health in Europa”(CASH).
The aspects that are more worrying nowadays are:
-Effects on the health of the weather phenomena. The changes of magnitude and frequency of the weather phenomena, cause big impacts on the health of the populations, triggering off catastrophes or emergencies. The most frequent in our latitude are the waves of heat, the flooding and the droughts. The climatic change seems to increase the frequency and the severity of the waves of heat, as it starts to be checked in most of the European countries. As the average temperatures increase, the waves of heat are made more frequent. The most affected population are the old people.
-Illnesses caused by biological vectors. Illnesses as the paludism, the virus Hanta, the fever of the Nile and other illness caused by animals, are sensitive to the climatological changes. At present there is little knowledge of how the changing temperatures can modify the areas of distribution of the biological vectors which cause the transmission of the illnesses.
-Illnesses of hydric and food transmission. These illnesses can be potentially affected by the climatic change. A seasonal behaviour was observed in the prevalence of specific illnesses. For example, it is known that over specific environmental temperatures,
the cases of salmonella (a contagious illness produced by some bacteria of the gender Salmonella,there the name of this illness)increase.
One of the most significant illnesses of hydric origin associated with the supplies of potable waters in Western Europe is the criptosporidiosis. Some epidemics caused by this protista, were associated to periods of heavy rains.
-Allergic disorders. At present there are different studies of research in the European Phenology Net, a project of the European Union in which the OMS collaborates directly. With it, it is intended to promote the surveillance, the research of these illnesses in the context of the climatic global change.
-Other changes with impact on the health. The “global change”does not only include the climatic change, but other problems such as the hole of the ozone layer, and changes in the ecosystems and the energy.