New Delhi: Ancient germs frozen in ice for a long time might be released and pathogens could move to new places due to the climate change, experts have warned. The changing climate, causing more floods and heavy rainfall, could also lead to more waterborne and zoonotic diseases, they said at a conference by DRIIV (Delhi Research Implementation & Innovation), an initiative of the principal scientific advisor (PSA) to the government. The experts, including NITI Aayog Member V K Paul and ICMR Director General Rajiv Bahl, highlighted another worry – heat-related injuries. As temperatures go up, the risk of getting hurt from the heat becomes higher.
The way diseases spread might also change. Pathogens, which are tiny things that can make us sick, could move to new places because of climate change, Paul said at the conference held here on Tuesday.
He talked about very ancient pathogens that have been frozen in ice for a long time. Mr. Paul said,
As ice melts because of warmer temperatures, these ancient germs might be released. This adds another layer of concern to the already complex issue of health and climate change.
The discussions at the conference stressed the need for strong health systems that can handle the changes that climate is bringing.
Mrs. Parvinder Maini, Scientific Secretary of the PSA office, said,
Climate change heightens the risk of vector-borne diseases, antimicrobial resistance, and the transmission of zoonotic diseases. Indirectly, it affects food systems, nutrition, water access, housing, education, and care.
Mrs. Maini called for a comprehensive approach involving science, technology, and innovation to combat these challenges.
She emphasised the shared responsibility of various stakeholders, including industry, academia, government, and local bodies, to collectively address the climate change issue.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – theLGBTQ population,indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the currentCOVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water,SanitationandHygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fightmalnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health,adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues likeair pollution,waste management,plastic ban,manual scavengingand sanitation workers andmenstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India wheretoiletsare used andopen defecation free (ODF)status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched byPrime Minister Narendra Modiin 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.