Of all the scaremongering that I have seen in regard to the ever so scary climate change, that is meant to get us to cry “do something!!”, whilst systematically being fleeced by a Marxist government, then scares relating to health issues take top billing.
It seems to me, (an amateur, and a non-scientist), that this is one area where those making the comments are drastically wrong. The latest diatribe out of IPCC and from the flim flam man and his cohorts relates to an alleged increase in dengue fever, malaria, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis (not sure if that got a mention, but why not add it anyway), and a host of other illness and diseases. The first time that I heard about this kind of nonsense related to a Harvard University study that included Lyme Disease in the mix. That was when I knew that such claims are nonsense.
Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by a bite from a tick. In the USA there are two types of tick that are responsible for the spread of the disease. Humans can only get the disease if bitten by the tick. A summary on Lyme disease can be found here. It is worth reading to at least get an overview of how Lyme disease is spread. Since these ticks can also be found on cats and dogs there is some risk to humans if the ticks fall off the animals. However, there is, as far as I can see, no corelation between any “warming” and Lyme Disease. Case studies that make the link should be treated with the utmost caution.
The latest scare is the claim that warming will cause deaths of up to 6000 people by 2020 here in Australia, and that it will be prevalent on the eastern seabord. Once again, this is an extremely questionable claim. After a quick Google search, I discovered that Dengue Fever, when there is an outbreak is largely confined to Queensland, and in particular Far North Queensland, in towns such as Cairns and Innisfail. A good source of information can be found via the Qld government site as well as this site from the Victorian government. Both sites state the obvious – the mosquito that is most likely to pass on Dengue fever is found in Queensland. They also state that in order for the Dengue Fever to spread in the first place, a person who has been infected whilst travelling in a tropical country outside of Australia, and is then bitten by the mosquito can spread the Dengue fever. In other words the mosquitos pick up the infection from the already infected person, and that is how it is spread.
Other information that I found indicated that in 2010 there were more than 900 cases in Queensland for Dengue Fever. These cases were mostly in Cairns. There have been some reports of Dengue Fever in Northern New South Wales and as far south as Sydney. Unless the mosquito has been found around Sydney, the chances of an outbreak would be very slim. However, it is possible that a person who has travelled to Cairns or overseas to Bali, and who lives in Sydney or Melbourne, can end up being infected by Dengue Fever, because that person has been bitten by an infected mosquito in that tropical location.
If there was even the remotest possibility of a very large outbreak of Dengue Fever in Australia by 2020, it would have to be a direct result of the mobility of the population, with more people living in Northern Queensland. The only other way is for a sudden increase in the mosquito population that is responsible for passing on the infection. This is something that is completely preventable.
At the present time there is no vaccination for Dengue Fever. It leaves people who travel to the exotic tropical countries vulnerable to possible infection. However, other measures designed to stave off such infection can be put in place. Mosquitoes like stagnant water. That means it is necessary to clear up excess water places, such as pots used to hold plants, swimming pools and ponds. We are not allowed to use DDT so the mosquitoes cannot be eradicated. When living in a tropical region, it is necessary to use insect repellent at all times, and to use the surface sprays to discourage the mosquitoes.