What Have We Learned about Climate Variability and Human Health?

C. M. Fang, Netra Chhetri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


The topic of human health ranks high among societal concerns. In 2005, United States spent $95 billion on medical research, with studies showing that Americans want more funds and resources devoted to health care and research. Deteriorating environmental conditions are a major contributor to poor health and reduced quality of life, directly responsible for 25% of all preventable illnesses, specifically diarrheal and acute respiratory infections. According to a recent report by the World Health Organization, approximately 7% of deaths and diseases around the world occur because of inadequate or unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene, and an estimated 5% of deaths and diseases are due to air pollution. Extreme climatic events, such as floods, earthquakes and droughts, also increase the risk of diarrheal disease and outbreaks of vector-borne diseases. Such extreme events threaten not only the individual's health but also access to health care. In Pakistan, for example, more than 200 health facilities were destroyed or damaged by the flood of historical proportion during the summer of 2010. The aftermath of the Pakistan's flooding includes the rise of communicable diseases - acute respiratory infections, diarrhea, and skin infections, as well as cases of malaria - prompting the need to develop a larger adaptive capacity as well as strengthening the current public health response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVulnerability of Human Health to Climate
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9780123847041
StatePublished - Apr 2013


  • Heat waves
  • Social vulnerability
  • Vector-borne disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'What Have We Learned about Climate Variability and Human Health?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this