Climate Change and Disease

There is a fascinating new paper out linking climate change in 2006/2007 and disease incidence. Leaving aside that predicting the weather is just about as impossible a task as disease prevention, it’s still interesting stuff:

Disease and climate change


  1. Given the enormous strides we’ve made in combating disease – especially the diseases listed here – I’m pretty surprised that you rank disease prevention as harder than predicting the weather. The Ohio river used to be an intense malarial zone (I just read an account of Lewis and Clark’s journey through to start their exploration of the west). I haven’t heard of many malaria outbreaks in Ohio or Kentucky lately.
    Your throwaway line seems needlessly defeatist.

  2. Fair enough. Within developed countries, infectious disease prevention isn’t as tough as predicting the weather.

  3. What about the reverse, the benefits, like fewer influenza and pneumonia cases in cold countries

  4. Paul, I am afraid I must agree with the dissent voiced here.
    When someone gets the weather prediction wrong, everybody knows and I mean every lay person knows. But when disease is prevented, you have no way to find out about the success unless you have access to or interest in historic rates of disease occurrence.
    Prevention is also therefore harder to make money in, which is why more VCs invest in devices and end-of-pipe solutions to disease than in preventative programmes, a view verified by many VCs in my PhD-related research interviews this summer.
    As for the link between climate change and disease incidence, how about we get the Freakonomics chaps to review it, eh?