The Baffling Nexus of Climate Change and Health
In 2004, a rare tropical fungus caused a string of respiratory failures and neural disorders along the Pacific Northwest coast, baffling the health community. That same year, Alaskan cruise ship passengers dining on local oysters fell sick with a gastric virus typically found in warm water estuaries. Now Texas, after an unusually wet spring and dry summer, is battling what may become the countryâ€™s worst recorded outbreak of West Nile virus.
Meteorological and ecological shifts driven by climate change are creating a slow and often unpredictable bloom of novel public health challenges across the United States. The American Public Health Association has declared climate change â€œone of the most serious public health threats facing our nation,â€ although the precise nature of that threat remains uncertain.